Saturday, October 31, 2015

Set-the-day | Masjid Hussain Seremban 2

Bismillah.

Assalamualaikum folks,
Good Morning! Let's set-the-day in the right mood. Let's set the tone right. It's Saturday all right.

A typical Saturday for me is about express Spring cleaning at Exa Publishing office while waiting for my team to arrive. Because I can't do it quick enough, it's common for them to see their unpaid Boss vacuum-ing or mopping the floor. It's the least I could do to honor them because they are istiqamah (regular) in reading Kitab Barakat Makkiyah every morning as soon as they arrive.

Shouldn't say ''unpaid" because there's NO beneficial/good deed that escapes the eyes of the Master Accountant who is the ultimate Paymaster - Allah subhanahu wa taala. He will provide. He will reward accordingly. Bi-iznillah.

Looks like I'm gonna be late again cos I am stealing time to blog and listening to a Malay song. LOL.
Now will the non-Malay readers excuse me for a minute.

Sayangku...tahukah kau di dalam hatiku ini
tersimpan perasaan cinta nan suci
kau bunga
ingin ku sunting mu menjadi milik ku
lantas ku abadikan dalam jiwa ku

Hah hah....that's an old Malay love song ; )

***

Anyway, I'm supposed to be writing about Masjid Hussain and some reflections from the dawra on Kitab As-Syamail which I had attended last weekend. But let's first talk about Masjid Hussain.

Masjid Hussain in Seremban 2, Malaysia, in my eyes, is gorgeous because it is beautiful in its simplicity. Wish the architect and interior designer would come across this posting so they'll know their hardwork and attention to details, are noticed and appreciated. Perhaps they had carried out their jobs with taqwa, cos I could feel it.

I noticed the color scheme chosen yaqni white is not just for the exterior. The outer walls and the dome are all in seamless white almost like the stunning Masjid Quba in Madinah. White has also been chosen for notice board frames, cupboards, fans, Bose speakers, chairs (appreciate that the chairs for those who pray in sitting position, are not the usual colorful plastic chairs or the random small folded stools, but are big and sturdy and in matching white). I noticed and appreciate that the carpet is plain without busy distracting patterns. The red carpet looks sophisticated and not some cheap-looking red; the lines for marking the saf are thin, thus avoid the confusion most people have on where exactly to place their heels. 

Yes I noticed all the little things : )

Also noticed the mimbar is not that high; that the marble chosen for the mihrab is in subtle grey and wall decors in black and gold contrast enhance the simple choices made in the overall interior design. The main chandelier is not overly grand and looks easy to maintain; the pendant light along the corridor and the matching wall lights are also pretty neat. The Resource Center and Madrasah are well equipped, also with white furniture fittings. 

I fell in love with Masjid Hussain at the first sight. Upon entering and noticing all the small details mentioned above, I love it even more. Also appreciate the clever layout and that it is wheelchair friendly; the fact that they have brought the outdoor inside for the women's wudhu area; that there is a proper room for telekung (prayer garments) and not just place them in cupboards in the same prayer area hence avoid the mess. 

Was also impressed that the built-in shelves for Al-Quran and Tafsir were properly measured so 19 copies of the Quran and 20 Tafsir could fit neatly in the shelves. [Yes, I counted!] As though they even thought about the exact Quran and Tafsir to buy and know the thickness of the books, mashaAllah!

There's something special about the mosque. It's not as magnificent as the world-famous mosques abroad, but I am of the view that Masjid Hussain's simplicity truly defines its beauty. 

The fact that I have had a wonderful experience learning hadith for three days in a row at the mosque, makes me love Masjid Hussain even more.

People say ''I left my heart in San Francisco" and I agree with that, having visited the charming city countless times during my student days. But now I will say: I left my heart at Masjid Hussain : )


Dawra Kitab As-Syamail at Masjid Hussain
with Shaykh Mohammed Daniel
23 - 25 Oct 2015
White folding chairs at Masjid Hussain
White furniture and fittings all over Masjid Hussain
Resource Center at Masjid Hussain
Can't help but noticed the banquet chairs chosen are off-white.
They could have chosen the commonly found red/blue,
but they took the trouble to stick to the color scheme.  
Corridor at Masjid Hussain

I encourage all of you to set a date and go visit Masjid Hussain in Seremban 2.

p/s

No, I'm not marrying Pak Hussain's son. LOL.
Wish yáll a pleasant Saturday.

Am going back to singing that Malay song:
Sayangku...tahukah kau di dalam hatiku ini...
tersimpan perasaan cinta nan suci...

: D


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Not meant to be | Meant to be

Bismillah.

Assalamualaikum folks,

On a lighter note, before we go melodramatic : D it amazes me that there's a Muslim soda brand from Austria that contains Habatus Sauda. It's called Sultan Cola. I discovered it at Muslim Biz Forum today. Tasted good methinks. What a unique and surprising combo: Austria + Muslim product + Soda + Black seeds. Who would have thought?

***

You might have read the previous posting about my participation at a Dawra on Kitab As-Syamail by Shaykh Mohammed Abu Bakar Daniel last weekend. Shaykh Daniel is a British who migrated to Syria some 14 years ago and spent his life travelling and studying. He has obtained ijazah from over 400 scholars. As the founders of Cordoba Academy UK, Shaykh Daniel and his wife have, for over the past six years, taught 6000 students worldwide. The Shaykh is by far the most accessible scholar I have ever known.

His students who graduated from the dawra have the privilege of being in the same Whatsapp group as him. Can you believe that? I never imagined being in the same Whatsapp group with a shaykh, let alone a reputable scholar who is super busy globe trotting. He responds to our questions and concerns fairly quickly, in a warm friendly manner. MashaAllah.


Masjid Hussain, Seremban 2


Prior to the dawra which started on Friday afternoon at Masjid Hussain in Seremban 2 (one and a half hour drive south of KL) I happened to be in Seremban (neighboring township) for work purposes. Yes Seremban and Seremban 2 are twin towns. No, we do not have KL 2, in case you're wondering. 

What I am trying to get at is that Allah is Ar-Rahim Al-Wadud. He has to send me to Seremban for work or it might have been inconvenient for me to attend the dawra. Weak people like me need an extra push you see. God knows I need extra help. So the Divine plan was: Send her to work in Seremban on Wed, Thu and Fri morning, put her up at a cozy hotel and then on Fri afternoon, all she needs to do is drive for 20 minutes to get to Masjid Hussain and get some good education. LOL.

Allah is ever Generous and Compassionate.
I first bought Kitab As-Syamail in April 2013 when I attended a dawra at a masjid in KL. I had bought an extra copy for an acquaintance I met virtually. I thought as someone who seemed to be on the same path, that person would appreciate it. Thus I wrote a little something on the front page of the kitab and signed it. And then opportunity arose for me to meet that person abroad. So I gladly brought the kitab along with several other books as gifts because we are book lovers. But somehow... that person didn't turn up. So I had to carry all the valuable books back to KL.

To cut the story short, I eventually got to meet the person whom I was supposed to meet overseas, but sadly this person did not bother about the sanctified kitab I wanted to gift himTherefore, with a heavy heart I tore the page on which I had written and signed. This took place in 2013.

When I learned about the Dawra on Kitab As-Shamail, I thought this was a good opportunity to give away that extra kitab. I was planning to pass it to the organizer as gift for anyone who might need it, but I didn't, as I rushed to join the majlis. So there it was, kept in my bag, as I sat underneath those pretty chandeliers at Masjid Hussain together with the other ladies. And then all of a sudden, a woman turned toward me inquiring about the kitab, whispering. ''Where did you get it? It's sold out at the Registration Counter."

"Wait..." I replied as I dug my tote bag looking for that rather ''historic" copy - the Kitab As-Syamail which flew out of KL with me in an aeroplane and back.

I quickly flipped the hardcover and pointed out the torn page to the lady, "Do you mind this?"
"No, not at all" she said with a look of disbelief on her face. Perhaps, not expecting the offer.
"Then please take it, Bismillah..."
"How much?" she asked.
"No...no need...please...Bismillah take it," I gestured.

The expression on the lady's face, to me, was priceless. It's as though the words gratitude and relief were written on her forehead and cheeks. Relieved that she got the very thing she needed and wanted. Her whole face lit up. She then fell into silence and choked up with emotions before turning to me saying: "Could you please write your name so I can make a prayer for you?"

MashaAllah tabarakallah! That brief meaningful exchange...in an instant, wiped off all the hurt and pain in my heart - the fact that the kitab did not get to the person it was intended for; that I had carried it so far; the frustration, thinking how can a person not appreciate a precious book about the Prophet salallah alaihi wasalam?!

Allah....

Allah Ar-Rahim is He. When He inflicts upon your fragile heart a deep wound which is starting to become an old scar, He heals you with the best balm there can be, unexpectedly. There it was, underneath the mosque dome, at a sacred setting, in a blessed majlis where ahadith were being recited, on a blessed Ashura Day...there, He the Most Kind and Compassionate Lord, healed me. Subhanallah!


Subahanallah! Walhamdulillah!
Wa lailaha illallah Wallahu Akbar!


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Heavenly Gifts

Bismillah.

Assalamualaikum warahmatullah my dearest genuine loyal readers,

Your blogger friend, Miss Eza is extremely tired. She has been having a super-packed and mentally challenging week. Just got back at her hotel, legs cramped etc. but then she saw an unexpected message from one long time loyal reader Sister Zaleha. MashaAllah tabarakallah

My dear Sister Zaleha, I will make a special prayer for you at this intensive majlis taálim I've been attending InshaAllah. [I have already made duá for all other close buddies/visitors - you know who you are.]

I'm gathering whatever energy that's left, to post this shout-out just because of you, ma dear sister.


   

It's been quite a while since I fell in love at first sight with a masjid. The first time was in 1997 when I first saw the spectacular Masjid Nabawi in Madinah. The grandeur of the blessed mosque took my breath away as I stepped down from the bus, stepped onto the sacred land and looked up at the imposing beauty. It was a serene breezy night. The wind was cold. It was 2 o'çlock in the morning.

Yesterday was the third time (maybe fourth) that I fell in love at first sight with a fair beauty. Would be wonderful to own a home near this masjid - Masjid Hussain.

Part 2:
Hi again, folks. It's almost midnight. Am back from the masjid feeling super-blessed and super-elated because I have successfully completed an intensive class on As-Syamail Al-Muhammadiah. Sat underneath those pretty chandeliers for two and a half days and listened to Shaykh Mohammed Abu Bakr Daniel read out all 399 hadith in the kitab compiled by Imam Tirmizi. In addition to ijazah for the As-Syamail, the generous shaykh also granted ijazah for Al-Musalsalat Al-Asharat. [Hope I got the terms right]. It was my first experience being given "ijazah" for using tasbih, handshake (yes handshake or musafaha); mushabaka (two people joining their palms together); eating tamar and drinking water; Surah Fatihah and the duá Prophet taught Muadz bin Jabal, among others.

Guess what? We ladies got to act out these traditions from the Shaykh's wife who is a shaykha herself! We shook her hand, took a tasbih and did the mushabaka with the blessed woman. MashaAllah!

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah by the grace of Allah, with that I have officially become a student of Cordoba Academy founded by both Shaykh Mohammed Abu Bakr Daniel and his learned wife.

Will post a pic of my cert soon InshaAllah. Shaykha wrote it herself, mind you. I am shaykha-struck, pardon me because I have never met a woman-scholar before. She travels extensively together with Shaykh Daniel and has studied with 250 shuyukh! MashaAllah tabarakallah. Yet, she was so unassuming and approachable.

***

I am deeply humbled, the fact that Allah has given me a second chance at reading the As-Syamail. The first attempt in April 2013 did not count because it was organized in too large a class, I couldn't remember anything significant and we did not complete it properly. Since then, the book was left idle and hopeless on my shelf.

This two-and-a-half day intensive class on the As-Syamail was special because the class was not too big so we could understand the shaykh's words pretty well. Shaykh Daniel spoke clearly and at times, fast, as it's typical of muhaddithin. His lecture was interspersed with good advice and examples. And a bit of British humor! LOL.

Alfu alfu Alhamdulillah for the opportunity. I would not trade it for the world. It goes to show, if Allah wishes to honor us, it will come to be. Never mind those people who try to bring us down.

Oh one point I noted from the As-Syamail. The universal definition of an ideal man being "tall, dark and handsome" may not be applicable anymore because the Prophet salallah alaihi wasalam, yaqni the most beautiful creation of Allah was described as "fair, handsome and of medium height."
: )

Anyways, I'll write about the beautiful Masjid Hussain where the dawra was held, more about my wonderful ijazah experiences and more takeaways from the As-Syamail  in future postings InshaAllah.


Heavenly gifts. Alhamdulillah.
Proclaim the bounties of your Lord!
That's Shaykha's writing on my kitab
and she wrote my name on the cert : )
Wouldn't trade these for the world.
Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah





Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Put your foot down

Bismillah.

Hi folks,

Am on CREATive mode. Created this poster today, for you, just for sharing.


p/s

That's me in my Birkenstock sandals and Monki socks at H&M. Not going to pretend I'm not into cool stuffs cos it's worldly. LOL. Let's keep the world at our feet or carry it in our hands. And reserve the heart for that which is utterly valuable and worthwhile.

"The heavens and the earth cannot contain Me,
but the heart of a true believer can."
- Hadith Qudsi.


Monday, October 19, 2015

Seeing light in darkness

Bismillah.

AsSalamualaikum folks,

Hope you have had a sunny Sunday, as bright as my day, despite the fact that it's still hazy in KL. Alhamdulillah.

Am compelled to scribble a lil something, having seen the traffic feed. Thought somebody might be expecting something on this space.

Indeed, the eyes of our hearts must remain open and strive to see light, even in darkness; see brightness amidst the grey murky haze. 

Am reminded of one special moment in January 2013, when I experienced an avalanche of love and adoration for Habib Umar bin Hafiz. It was at the premiere of a film about his travels in Fez.
http://lisanaldin.blogspot.my/2013/01/fez-city-of-saints-speck-of-its.html
It felt as though the habib's bright spirit (nur) had engulfed me to the bones that I was able to transcribe what he was saying even in darkness. 



Love is like the sun, it radiates in all directions and leaves its warmth on every inch of the earth. Love is the truth, so much so that when it arrives, falsehood has got no other option but to give way. I'm not that well versed on Quranic verses, but this one line I know by heart:
Qul ja al haqqu wa zahaqa bathil. 
Innal bathila kaana zahu qa
And say, truth has arrived, and falsehood perished. 
For falsehood is bound to perish.
[Quran: 17:81]

***

Speaking of falsehood, I think you can trick/lie/scheme most of the time, or some of the time. But you can't possibly do that all the time or all the way. That's because no matter how smart you think you are at plotting and scheming, don't forget, Allah plans too and He executes. Surely Allah is the Best Planner and what He orchestrates shall prevail. The person at whom you are scheming, is His servant. Do you not think He loves His servant? Do you not believe that Allah will protect him/her? Dare you think Allah will let a mortal have an upper hand on His servants? Dare you regard yourself a better planner or schemer than God? Is it you who hold him/her by the forelock, or is it the Lord?

"Indeed, there is no creature
but He holds it by the forelock."
Maa min dabbatin illa huwa
akhizun bina siyatiha

Sadaqallah al-Azim.

***

p/s
Wonder what happened to Mr. Sayacivale who left the comment on that posting?!

BTW I learned a new word on Dictionary Day (16 Oct).
Skulduggery = dishonest behavior/trickery.
Let's try make a sentence of that word.
May Allah send people who are involved in skulduggery of any kinds, to the hospital to get some psychiatric treatment. Or perhaps their clans get hospitalized or something, so they would start realizing they are mortals after all and thus should think twice if they want to engage in skulduggery ever again.

Click here to learn 10 wonderful words, in conjunction with Dictionary Day:
http://www.grammarly.com/blog/2015/10-wonderful-words-to-learn-for-dictionary-day/?

p/s
One of the 10 words is desiccated. And that's the only 1 word I knew out of the 10 bombastic words suggested by Grammarly.

Had I not helped my mother in the kitchen, I would not have known the word desiccated. We used desiccated coconut for one of our family's favorite cookie recipe. I remembered vividly the label on the can - desiccated coconut. [This took place in the '70s/'80s.]

: D


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Prayer parcels \ Gift-ed

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.

You know you are blessed when on the day of the new hijri year, first thing in the morning as you wake up, a new year greeting arrived from an honorable shaykh. MashaAllah.

You know you are blessed when on a beautiful evening you received some very meaningful words of encouragement. Like those in the pic below ; )

You know you are blessed when your bank delivered a big present - a branded luggage! Yes! After decades of banking with the same financial institution, I finally got an unexpected gift from my bank. Unbelievable!

You know you are blessed when you received a phone call from some lovely souls living 10,000 miles away.

You know you are blessed when you learn something exciting each day.

You know you are blessed when you are gifted with brilliant ideas every other day.

You know you are blessed when people you have never met extend their support to you.

You know you are blessed when pious people offered their special prayers for you.

Kareem is Allah. Wadud is Allah.
Subhan is Allah.
Subhanallah.

May Allah bless abundantly, a quintillion times, all the kind-hearted people in my life. Ameen.



Your sista as ever,
-Exa


p/s
Have a sunny Sunday, people : )



Saturday, October 17, 2015

Dictionary Day \ 100 tasawuf terms compiled by Shaykh Abdul Qadir as-Sufi

Bismillah.

Good afternoon folks.
Assalamualaikum,

Did you know 16th October is known as Dictionary Day? Two hundred fifty seven years ago, on 16 Oct 1758, Mr. Webster was born. Does that ring a bell? Yes, Merriam-Webster and all other American dictionaries named after him.      

Please bear with me. This is a Saturday afternoon rambling. I'm not sure if I'm feeling inspired or otherwise, having returned from Malaysia's National Library. It is a stone's throw away from my crib. But [of course] I drove there. LOL.

Hmm...libraries are supposed to be inspiring. Enough said. Let's not talk about the not so positive aspects. Anyhow, three take-away points I wish to mention.

  • I learned a bit on the history of animation in Japan from a reference book which weighs around 5 kg. LOL.
  • There's a smart-looking and literally smart library within the National Library, sponsored by Samsung.
Samsung Smart Library at Malaysia's National Library

  • I wish I had discovered this publication by McGraw Hill in 1997 when I struggled like mad getting my house built. 

How To Plan, Contract And Build Your Own Home


Speaking of dictionary, you should go look for a small dictionary of 100 words related to tasawuf, compiled by Shaykh Abdul Qadir As-Sufi. It's called "The Hundred Steps". Let's see, how many words look familiar to you.

1. Tasawuf - sufism/science of journey to the King
2. Shariat - conformity on syahadah
3. Tariqat - the path between shariat and haqiqat
4. Hakikat - the realities
5. Adab - spiritual courtesy/sincere good manners
6. Istiqama - being straight/practice the words, acts and states of the Prophet
7. Suluk - science of inward elements
8. Yaqin - certainty
9. Faqir - the one who turns away from the futile search of this world
10. Tawba - turning away from wrong action
11. Wara' - scrupulousness
12. Zuhud - doing without
13. Tawakkul - reliance
14. Sabar - patience
15. Shukur - giving thanks
16. Taqwa - guarding oneself from wrong actions
17. Ikhlas - pure unadulterated genuineness
18. Sidq - truthfulness
19. Murid - one who has stripped from his own will
20. Ubudiya - slavehood
21. Zikir - invocation of Allah
22. Fikir - reflection
23. Himma - aspiration
24. Nafs - the first level of experience of the human animal
25. Ruh - spirit
26. Sirr - secret
27. Mulk - the kingdom of solid forms
28. Malakut - the kingdom of unseen forms
29. Jabarut - the kingdom of power
30. Khauf - fear
31. Raja' - hope
32. Rida' - serene content
33. Hiss - sensory
34. Ma'na - meaning
35. Lubb - core
36. Ishara - indication
37. Waqt - moment
38. Hal - state
39. Maqam - station
40. Mawqif - stopping place
41. Warid - what descends on the heart
42. Futuwwa - nobility
43. Qabd - constriction
44. Basth - expansion
45. Wajid - first degree of ecstasy
46. Wujud - third degree of ecstasy
47. Jadhb - attraction
48. Lawa'ih - outward gleams
49. Lawami' - gleams
50. Tawali' - splendours
51. Shawq - desire
52. Dhawq - tasting
53. Shurb - the drink
54. Sukr - drunkenness/intoxication
55. Khamr - wine
56. Ka's - the cup
57. Sahwa - sobriety
58. Farq - separation
59. Jam' - gatheredness
60. Jam' al-Jam' - gatheredness of gatheredness
61. Tawhid - unity/affirmation of unity
62. Tafrid - isolation
63. Af'al - the acts of Allah
64. Sifat - the attributes of Allah
65. Dhat - the essence of Allah
66. Ma'rifa - gnostic
67. Isma al-adham - the Supreme Name
68. Ghurba - exile
69. Khalwa - retreat
70. Ghuzla - retirement
71. Simsima - sesame/gnosis which is too fine to express
72. Tajalli - manifestastion
73. Takhalli - relinquishment
74. Al-'Ama - the great mist
75. Muraqaba - watching
76. Mushahada - witnessing
77. Wilaya - friendship with Allah/acceptance
78. Fana' - annihilation in Allah
79. Bala - trial
80. Baqa' - going-on in Allah
81. Sahq - pulverisation
82. Nasut - manhood
83. Lahut - godhood
84. Rahamut - sourcehood
85. Mahabba - love
86. Qurb - nearness
87. Taraqqi - rising
88. Lisan - tongue/that by which divine eloquence occurs to the ears of the gnostics
89. Tamkin - fixity
90. Talwin - change
91. Afrad - individuals
92. Nuqaba - the chiefs
93. Nujaba - the nobles
94. Abdal - the substitutes
95. Awtad - the four pillars
96. Two Imams - two imams; one on the right of the Ghawth in the Malakut, the other one on his left in the Mulk
97. Qutb - the axis/pole
98. Sukun - stillness
99. Tajrid - stripping away
100. Kamal - perfect

 Allahu 'alam.
Rabbi zidni ilma war zuqni fahma.

_________
The Hundred Steps is published by Madinah Press Kuala Lumpur

Friday, October 16, 2015

Why I write

Bismillah.

Firstly, let's just rejoice at this simple fact that today is the first Friday of the new Hijri year. Alhamdulillah, we are still here, able to welcome it and observe it. We would of course welcome and count each Friday differently if God were to reveal: "Hey, you've got only 156 Fridays left to live y'know?" That's 3 years, in case you're wondering -- derived from dividing 156 with 52 because there are 52 weeks in a year, buddy. LOL. 

You see, this is a good example of why I write. It's because like some people, like Joan Didion, I need to find that mysterious and sometimes elusive access to my own mind. That, coupled with the impulse to create something - to fill up the white space with some strange combo of 26 letters. Juggling the 26 letters according to current mood with blatant disregard to what the readers might think. 

Joan Didion is right in saying:     
'In many ways, writing is the act of saying I, of imposing oneself upon other people, of saying listen to me, see it my way, change your mind. It's an aggressive, even a hostile act....There's no getting around the fact that setting words on paper is the tactic of a secret bully, an invasion, an imposition of the writer's sensibility on the reader's most private space.' 

Yes and the reverse of that could also be true. That a writer is bullying his/her own mind, forcing it to come out of its hiding, hence making it open and vulnerable. Still, many people would write when their hearts are touched by something, when something moves them. 

When I first read Joan Didion's writing, I did not know she's a prolific writer. I got to know her work through The Guardian newspaper dated 24 September 2005, when I was studying in Stirling, Scotland. I was so moved by her story that I even had a strong impetus to write a letter to The Guardian. Never mind that I was naive as far as Great Britain was concerned. It was my first month there so when my short letter got published, I felt welcomed. The fact that my Uni classmate, a clever, articulate British lady, had noticed it, really made my day.

So, I guess, when your writing is driven by your heart, it can reach farther. There's no doubting Joan Didion wrote The Year of Magical Thinking from her heart. The book is about mourning the loss of her loved ones. She says: ''Grief has no distance. Grief comes in waves, paroxysms, sudden apprehensions that weaken the knees and blind the eyes and obliterate the dailiness of life.''

Below is another quote of Joan Didion, something more uplifting for us to consider.


Pic credit: Brain Pickings
https://www.brainpickings.org/2012/05/21/joan-didion-on-self-respect/

On a lighter note, I swear I have got a photo of myself looking a bit like Joan's pic above, especially the hair style. LOL. I was 27 then : )

Why I write? Just writing my way through. That's better than bluffing your way through something or anything, is it not? Why I write? Because I need to hit the minimum target of 200 postings. And this is posting no. 160. 

Phew! Gotta have self-respect. Gotta respect one's goals.


www.theguardian.com/books/2005/oct/01/featuresreviews.guardianreview7



Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A new year full of barakah and sakinah

Bismillah.


A saying of Vern Mc Lellan

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah, we are still breathing and get to see the coming of 1st of Muharam 1437 Hijri.

Let it be a window of renaissance - a spiritual rebirth that would make us a better person, a stronger believer, a more patient and grateful servant.

May the new year be a year in which evil people and ill hearted persons are kept at a great distance so that their hands cannot reach us, let alone rob our dignity and property.

May the new year be a year that is sprinkled with plenty of genuine love and happiness. May the new year be a year in which we reap much beneficial knowledge and understanding. May the new year be a year in which Allah grants us abundant wealth. May the new year be a year full of barakah and sakinah.

May we bring to our Rabb that which is pleasing to Him. May we bring to the New Year that which is pleasing to the Lord. Ameen.

Wassalamualaikum warahmatullah.

-E-

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Worth writing AND worth reading

Bismillah.

Assalamualaikum folks,
Our dear respectable visitors/readers,

If you have been reading books on management or self-development, you will know that it's now about AND and no more OR.

Still, that quote by Ben Franklin is inspiring. He encourages us to write something worth reading or do something worth writing about. Of course he's saying if you can't do one good thing, then try do the other thing that's worth doing. But why not do both.

Anything that's written with honesty and truthfulness will usually come across as a worthy reading material. And it will usually last for quite a long time. Bi-iznillah. That, and everything else which got hammered on this public notice board, is a reminder to myself. 

We'll never know how a written/spoken word can impact a soul. But Allah in His Eternal Wisdom already told us the parable of a good word like a firm-rooted tree whose branches could grow sky-high, it's a tree that bears plenty of fruits.



A couple of years ago, I did something worth writing about - meeting with Muslims in Cambodia. I'm not sure if I did write about my interview with the Mufti of Cambodia. We wanted to publish the interview but the footage had gone bad, unfortunately. I am mentioning this now because one respected reader just wrote in saying she would like to visit the less fortunate Muslims in Cambodia. Let's pray so that Allah will fulfill her good intention. She is a super busy person, yet her heart seems to be with people who might be touched by her care and love, literally, because she is a medical doctor.

My travel goals have changed somewhat due to my involvement with Exa Publishing so I'm not sure I'll be going to that part of the world again anytime soon. Anyhow here's a pic of yours truly and the Mufti of Cambodia during the interview.



Wish yáll a happy and blessed NEW year - it's 1st of Muharram tomorrow. May the new year be a whole lot better than ever before. May we meet inspiring people who bring out the best in us. May we be protected from harm. May we do more things that are worth writing about. Ameen.

 -E-

Monday, October 12, 2015

RITNOYL \ Frozen sea

Bismillah.

Assalamualaikum my dear genuine readers,

Let's begin this week with this oft-quoted line from the Quran:


Alhamdulillah, grateful that in the past few days I was taught some wirid from the Quran. Though it's short and snappy, anything from the Lord is in fact weighty.

It may be difficult to properly sit down for hours to read the Noble Quran, still let's not forget that reciting short phrases from the Sacred Book is in a way reading it. And reciting it after a long drought of silence is like picking up an axe and hitting the frozen sea within us. They say: A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. Yes. And yáll know what is THE book for us. 




We thank Allah the Most Rashid and Hakim for every single idea no matter how big or small. We shall strive to create and share original ideas because like all things good, the more we give, the more we get. And the more grateful we are for it, the more we get. Bi-iznillah.

It's our hope that you'll always find something refreshing and inspiring every time you stop by this space.

Wish yáll a pleasant and fruitful week.




Saturday, October 10, 2015

Exa Eza Ezza

Bismillah.




AsSalamualaikum folks,

Here's wishing you a pleasant weekend.

Like most of you, I am busy dividing my time between so many spaces online and offline and I can't help but think about trying to do 200 posts a year for this blog. It ain't easy as I've got more things on my plate now. 

So I  pray for one quintillion helpers; one quintillion dollars; one trillion dollars; one billion dollars; one million dollars. Perhaps I should go repeat the mantra: exa exa exa.... a million times. LOL.

You know what's touching? It touched my heart when many old friends insisted on spelling my name Ezza even though I have been officially using Eza lately, just so that people don't spell my full name wrongly. It should be Eza-tulhada and not Ezza-tulhada. It matters, especially in the corporate world, to spell people's full name correctly.

What's with the double z and single z, you may ask. To me it shows that they remembered who I was and yet still respect my choice and accept me for what I am. And I appreciate that. It's important that we respect people's choice, respect people's names and try very hard to remember the correct spelling of their names.

Oh by the way, please help to promote Exa Publishing Facebook. Do invite your friends to like our FB page. We are currently working on two projects which we hope to release in Quarter 1, 2016 inshaAllah. Here's one pic borrowed from Exa Publishing Facebook.






Let's all seize the weekend : )



Thursday, October 8, 2015

Idle ammunition | Loading ammunition

Bismillah.




AsSalamualaikum my dear genuine readers - you know who you are ; )

"A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition." That is one poster borrowed from Exa Publishing FB. If you are a Facebooker do drop by our page Exa Publishing and LIKE us : )

Yes, a book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition. An idle blog is also wasted ammunition, methinks. A wealthy high potential lass whom a greedy boy has lost, is such a waste of opportunity, O man! 

LOL here goes another rambling.
Sorry folks, I am busy working double shifts,  9 to 5 and 6 to 12, it's pretty tensed, so here I am swinging by this space just to let off steam.

I would like to again thank you, my dear friends, for your continued moral support and prayers. What would I do without you?

And here's another poster borrowed from Exa Publishing FB:



It's not easy to develop quality contents that can get through to people. It takes time. It takes courage. It takes plenty of sweat. It takes a great deal of sacrifice. It takes a sincere heart. And it might take a lifetime. But the good thing is, the moment we plant a good seed of intention and start putting in effort, the good deeds "cash-register" starts ka-ching. So a blogger/author/publisher gotta do what a blogger/author/publisher gotta do - that is to keep loading ammunition.

Bi-iznillah.

Good nite folks.


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Be the reason someone smiles today

Bismillah

Life is like that. If you care to make someone smile, someone else somehow will make you smile. And it's always good to be the reason someone smiles today and everyday.

This short clip was taken by yours truly during Eidul Adha break in Penang. I thought it might put a smile on my friends' faces - friends from a faraway land because they used to live in Malaysia about a decade ago. Pray Allah will guide and facilitate their hijrah back to this beautiful country and grant them a whole new world which is more brilliant in every way, Ameen.




A whole new world...that's where we'll be...
A thrilling chase, a wondrous place, for you and me...




p/s

A.Sha & Family:
You all have my love. I am so sorry to keep you and your family waiting since the last posting. Let's plan and work together on something worthwhile. InshaAllah.
So happyyyy to speak to you and uncle.
Fi amanillah : D