Sunday, January 31, 2016

Last Sunday in Jan-NEW-ary | Just because

Bismillah.

OK OK here's one more posting before we say bye to Jan-NEW-ary, just because.

This was the view on Friday from my hospital bed. Because no VIP fell sick and all the other single rooms were fully occupied, I got to stay in the VIP room : D But imagine if suddenly some very important person had to be warded, they would have to chase me out LOL. 

Nil by mouth.
See that blurry sign in the background?
Yes I think it's a good thing to impose on ourselves
but not quite medically,
that is eat less, talk less, write/research more and make zikir.  

Because my dearest surgeon did a fantastic job, I was well enough to go window shopping the next day : )



Because another person in the family had a surgery at another hospital, we checked in at a nearby hotel and just chill. Even as we chill, never stop learning something new. Here's one good lesson for you and me:
It's never too late to start over. 
If you weren't happy with yesterday, 
try something different today.
Don't stay stuck. Do better!




Let's brew something better in Feb-BREW-ary.
And be FEB-ulous!



Friday, January 29, 2016

Dream catcher

Bismillah.





Assalamualaikum,

Wish yáll a peaceful and blissful Friday : )

It's a long weekend here for KL folks because Monday is Federal Territory day. YaHuuu!

I am taking a break from blogging and work for a while - time out to be with the chosen doctor. Now don't take it literally. LOL.

I pray Allah will continue to bless him abundantly with great healing skills and grant him all his wishes. Ameen. Ah...when I saw Kitab Barakat Makkiyah on top of piles of his documents, half of my pain went away. 

Allah is indeed Karim, He is constantly at work purifying us physically and spiritually through His loving Hands, providing in myriad ways and building our character. Surely, remembering Him yields plenty of results.

The other day, I was privileged to have met one enlightened soul who would only occasionally come out from suluk (seclusion). We have read all kinds of philosophies about man as the macrocosm and man having the universe inside him. But never have I met anyone who is able to elucidate so much esoteric knowledge so clearly and convincingly mainly because she has experienced it herself. And it's not often that you meet someone who is willing to share his/her divine unveilings because it is private and thus could be easily misconstrued. This person had left me with a strong impression about the importance of finding time to be alone in the company of the Lord and calling out His Beautiful Names. Yes, must be a bit more selfish, choose to be with the Lord more than being with mere mortals who tend to be noisy and distracting.

Anyhow, must thank Allah for sending us "perfume-sellers" so we benefit from their fragrance.

***

As we busy ourselves catching our dreams, may the time pass in a way that is pleasing to Him.

Jumaah Mubarrak.

See you in fabulous Feb insha Allah.



Tuesday, January 26, 2016

One small good habit for our 23,000 mornings | Sedekah Subuh

Bismillah.

You may recall one posting about us having approximately 23,000 mornings as adults, on the assumption that we live up to the age of 80 (and minus 15).

http://lisanaldin.blogspot.my/2016/01/praise-allah-for-another-morning-one.html

This [Monday] morning I chanced upon a segment on Malaysian TV about one woman, Madam Mahawa Pilus who set up a brilliant initiative called Sedekah Subuh. She quoted a couple of hadith about Prophet Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam and Saidina Omar r.a. who had a habit of giving food to the needy after Subuh. Prophet Muhammad salallah alaihiwasalam actually fed a Jew. Am not too sure about this particular hadith mentioned by the lady. Anyhow, the point to note is that giving sedekah on a daily basis especially after Subuh will yield plenty of barakah

The lady and her close buddies started collecting money to prepare breakfast for the fuqara and masakin around her neighborhood. One of her friends could not afford giving regular sedekah so she volunteered to cook instead. The initiative grew bigger as they began to receive more contributions hence were able to provide breakfast for more families. They have also started channeling funds to students in need and other worthy causes in Malaysia and abroad.

The idea is to give little but regularly, in the morning, after Subuh. The organizers have recently obtained approval from the authority and below is the Sedekah Subuh bank account number for your consideration/further actions.

I think we have got two choices, we as in those who are not in a position to cook meals and offer food to the needy every morning after Subuh. We could grab our purse and take out say $3 and keep in a homemade Sedekah Subuh penny bank/money bank, every day after performing our Subuh prayers and transfer it to the official Sedekah Subuh bank account at month end or after 40 days or if you are not living in Malaysia, you could give to any deserving parties, but of course even if you are living in Malaysia you could offer it to anyone in need.

Alternatively, we could grab our phones as we normally would first thing in the morning, and transfer say $3 via online banking. Make it your Favorite Third Party Account Transfer. Imagine grabbing the phone for a better cause (than check our Whatsapp) first thing in the morning. Morning means after Subuh before syuruk. And don't forget to make du'a and submit our petition to Allah as we do it. Let's not miss out on the Angel who makes du'a every morning for those who do good.

Assuming you are 25 and have just started working and assuming you will live up to the age of 80, if you were to give away $3 every morning, you will have donated $60,225. OK, let's assume you are not in a position to give $3 every morning when you turn 60, 
therefore:
60 - 25 = 35 x 365 days = 12,775 mornings x $3 sedekah each morning 
= $38,325 

That's pretty handsome a sedekah, is it not?

May Allah grant us the tawfiq to have and keep a good habit. May we remain istiqamah in this good habit and all other good daily habits. Ameen.

For more info
especially for Malaysians
do visit Sedekah Subuh FB page
https://www.facebook.com/sdk.subuh/?fref=ts

Useful info from Sedekah Subuh organizer:
(in Malay though)




Monday, January 25, 2016

Blooming hearts | Guest House

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillahi hamdan yuwafi niámahu wa yukafi u mazidah

May Allah grant enormous blessings to my guests who had travelled several hundred miles and went straight home after having left me with plenty of knowledge, a dozen of precious books and lots of love.

Amazing how Allah could move people's hearts to offer such kind gestures to one another.

My lovelies, I just wanted you to know that the lillies are blossoming pretty. Just as my heart has blossomed with fond memories of the beautiful morning we shared.

Perhaps, for once I should be selfish and not share much of what we shared LOL.
And yes certainly when it comes to spending the special hours with the Lord, we ought to shut everything else up and be selfish. 

This I quote from one of the books that travelled hundreds of miles with my guests to my house:

"This being human, is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they are a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond. "
- The Essential Rumi    

***

Although I am in agreement with that sayings of Rumi, know that I will no longer entertain any offers from married men who volunteer themselves for any of my projects; or write to me for whatsoever reasons/intentions, unless they can show a written consent from their wives, upfront. LOL. Spare me the headache and nonsense, guys!

And, one married man (an ustaz) actually asked me for some financial contribution to go for umrah with his newly wedded wife! Helloo....I don't have a husband to care for me and I work two jobs, round the clock, OK! I honestly think that married men [who work in the religious field especially] should work harder and not bother single women like me, for God's sake.

And no, man, you need not inform me if your wife's/daughter's waters have broken or if your wife has reached menopause. LOL.


Guest house after the guests have left
- hearts blooming happy like those lillies  : )


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Zen-Day | Sunday

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillahi hamdan yuwafi niámahu wa yukafi u mazidah

We are all set for a get together with one much respected reader of this blog and an interview with a motivator, soon...YaHuuuu!

I am liking this impromptu meeting, impromptu this and that, everything impromptu, but it's all by the qadar of Allah actually. In Allah we trust. Hasbunallah wa nikmal wakil, nikmal mawla wa nikman nasier.

At the end of the day, anything and everything we do will all be evaluated by Him, not by mere mortals. Our job is to just do.

Have a zen day, a zen-Sunday, people!











Saturday, January 23, 2016

"Inland Revenue" | "Banyak hasil lah!"

Bismillah.

LOL.

A friend sent me this poster:

Never blame anyone in your life. Good people give you happiness. Bad people give you experience. Worst people give you a lesson. And Best people give you memories.: Sayings, Life, Wisdom, True, Inspirational Quotes, Thought, People, Blame



















Then she said:
"So you have lots of experiences and lessons in life."

Then she said something in Malay which cracked me up.
She said:
"Banyak hasil lah."

LOL.
She rarely speaks Malay so that makes it even funnier.

For the benefit of our non-Malay readers:
Banyak means: plenty of

Hasil means: yield or results or revenue or proceeds or takings or triumph.

Lah according to the Urban Dictionary is a "slang used mainly by people of South East Asia (Malaysia and Singapore) to complement almost any sentence available in a social conversation."

Yeah... I have got banyak hasil lah!
So banyak that I am feeling like Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri - That is a name of a big organization in Malaysia - Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia. LOL.


Ahhh...I humbly hope that when I am gone, you would put me in this category:
Best people give you memories.

: )

Jazakumullahu khair





Friday, January 22, 2016

Shaykh Masood Yusuf on The Foundational Principles of Self-Purification from Imam Nawawi's Kitab Al-Maqasid




Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah, we are pleased to share this video with you. Shaykh Masood, in my opinion speaks very good and almost perfect English, yet when we showed him this video, he could spot some "grammatical errors" he made. Masha Allah.

I sure have to strive harder to improve my spoken and written English yáll : D 

The lesson on tazkiyatun nafs (self purification) is precious, I am sure you would agree.

Catch up soon because just like you, I am busy too. And to be honest, I can't entertain all queries/requests/ramblings or explain about everything you see or don't see on this blog. Or I might go berserk LOL.

Anyhow, bi-iznillah we might soon share an interview with a best-selling author on an exciting subject.

May Allah continue to grant us tawfiq to keep doing khair, facilitate it for us and accept it from us.
Ameen.

Have a jolly nice day folks : )

p/s

Remember to share any good videos you find on Al Falah TV YouTube channel and go promote to your buddies, neighbors, relatives, cousins, sweethearts, heartthrobs, everybody : D

www.alfalahtv.net

Spread the khair.



Thursday, January 21, 2016

Calling out His Beautiful Names

Bismillah.

As we daze through the week, let's pause to reflect and call out His Beautiful Names. Got this from a dear friend who got it from Dr Wan Maseri, an author and counselor.



Allahumma Ya Zahir, who make things manifest, capacitate the eyes of our hearts so we see that each and every circumstances that occur in our life, has in fact been arranged by You Ya Baari'; created by You Ya Khaliq so You make Yourself known Ya Ahad Ya Wahid Ya Samad.

Ya Allah Ya Bathin, vanish from my soul that it is the cause that brings about the effect. All causes and effects are verily on account of Your Power Ya Aziz Ya Qawiy Ya Matin.

Ya Allah Ya Quddus Ya Jalil
cleanse our hearts from the feelings of causation, that the creations and the universe can cause an effect, bad or good to us and Your creations.

Ya Allah Ya Shakur, when You bring about the bounties of dunya, bring along to our souls the feeling of gratitude for Your gifts; we deny that the blessings are on account of our capabilities.

Ya Allah Ya Hafiz Ya Muhaimin, when we are overcome with a sad and challenging incident, we plead that You protect us from feeling hopeless of Your protection.

Ya Qadir Ya Muktadir Ya Sabur
fill our hearts with contentment and patience towards You.

Ya Allah Ya Rahman Ya Rahim Ya Aziz Ya Qawi Ya Matin
should we be given the strength and opportunity to perform acts of obedience and do good deeds, make us feel that it is You who grant the compassion, care and power for us to do good and be obedient. Ya Bathin, erase from our hearts the thoughts that it is due to our own will, ability or that we are great at it.

Ya Baqi Ya Mukmin
make the eyes of our hearts constant at seeing Your power, Your names, Your actions and Your attributes so that in each second, our faith towards You remains pure O Ya Mukmin. And that we are not deceived by the tricks of shayatin who drag us into polytheism, O Ya Allah.


p/s
Thanks for sharing Dr. P.
May I be forgiven for any meanings lost in translation.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Today's present | Notes from lectures by Shaykh Dr Hisham Kamil Al-Azhari on Kitab Matan Al-Manzumah Al-Baiquniyyah (Mustolah Hadith)

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillahi hamdan yuwafi niámahu wa yukafi u mazidah

YaHuuuuu YaHuuuuu YaHuuuuuu....
I should say YaHuuuu a hundred times for the present the Generous Lord has sent me today. Masjid Hussain at Seremban 2 is witness yet again. I am loving this beautiful masjid more and more. A super kind Muslim tycoon had donated millions of dollars to build this simple but chic mosque, named after his father. Masha Allah!

Dawra kitab and ijazah ceremony
by Shaykh Dr Hisham Kamil al-Azhari
held at Masjid Hussain in Seremban 2
17 & 18 January 2016
[Seremban 2 is about 1 hour drive south of KL]
Because Shaykh Dr Hisham Kamil Hamid Musa al-Azhari told the class to share what we have learned from him yesterday and today about the types of hadith, so here is my small sharing, because I love you : )

Shaykh Dr Hisham also gave ijazah for one well known hadith attributed to Muadz bin Jabal. I've lost count how many times I have received ijazah of this hadith. Alhamdulillah that's a good sign I think. But I should record them really. For those of you who are not familiar, it is the one where Prophet Muhammad salallahalaihi wasalam taught Muadz bin Jabal the recitation to make after each solah. The one in which the Prophet began his speech to Muadz by saying: "Verily I love you...." 

Shaykh Dr Hisham Kamil [who is two years younger than me : )] is presently the imam and khatib at Masjid Al-Zahir Baibars in Cairo, Egypt. He is a graduate of Al Azhar University, and obtained a Master's degree and PhD from John Henver Institute, UK. He is a murid of Dr Ali Jum'ah (Egypt's former mufti) and Shaykh Ismail Shadiq (former imam at Al Azhar Mosque) among other notable Al Azhari shuyukh in Egypt.

Shaykh Dr Hisham appeared pretty relax and cool when he was teaching. His lecture was interspersed with jokes. One student asked if it's acceptable to learn/take ijazah from a guru via recordings i.e. audio tapes etc. Dr Hisham joked: "No, unless it's a Sony and not Samsung." LOL. But of course the answer is no.

On a serious note, we were taught Kitab Matan Al Manzumah Al Baiquniyyah. OK wait, don't get discouraged now. Like many of you, I know very little Arabic. It is actually a small but pertinent booklet containing the fundamentals of hadith summarized in a poetry format - 34 lines of poetry to be exact. The kitab was written by al-Baiquni who died circa 1080H. It's an old kitab which is read by countless students to this day.

By fundamentals of hadith, we mean types of hadith. There are 32 categories of hadith defined in the booklet. This is like ''The Basic of Hadith" or "Hadith 101" in a concise format. 

OK, now let me try to recap what I learned and summarized my notes and the kitab for you, because Shaykh Dr Hisham asked us to do so.

Types of hadith

1. Hadith Sahih 
Five conditions for a hadith to be sahih
(i) there is a sanad/continuous chain of narration.
(ii) there is no shadz (strangeness) about it. 
(iii) there is no illat (flaw) in it. 
(iv) the narrator is adil (Six conditions to be adil: Islam, baligh, mature thinking, does not commit major sins, does not continually commit minor sins, does not involve oneself in fasiq behaviors demeaning oneself) 
(v) the narrator is dhabit (has good memory).

2. Hadith Hassan (sanad/chain of narration is well known but the narrators are not as well known as hadith sahih and it lacks a bit as far as shadz and ilat are concerned.)
3. Hadith Dhaif (any hadith that is of lesser degree than hadith hassan.)
4. Hadith Marfu' (hadith that traces back to the Prophet s.a.w)
5. Hadith Maqthu' (hadith that traces back through the tabi'ín)
6. Hadith Musnad (hadith in which its chain of narration from the narrator to the Prophet is not broken)
7. Hadith Muttasil (the narrators heard one another and the chain of narrations reached the Prophet)
8. Hadith Musalsal (hadith that is narrated with certain conditions e.g. narrated while standing or smiling afterwards)
9. Hadith Aziz (narrated by two or three narrators)
10. Hadith Masyhur (narrated by more than three narrators)
11. Hadith Mu án án (narrated with the sayings án...án...án)
12. Hadith Mubham (hadith in which some names in the contents/chain have not been mentioned)
13. Hadith Aliy (number of narrators in the chain of narration is few) 
14. Hadith Naazil (many narrators involved/long chain)
15. Hadith Mauquf (hadith that traces back to sahabi in actions or words)
16. Hadith Mursal (some of narrators/sahabi in the chain of narrations died/were dropped)
17. Hadith Gharib (narrated by only one narrator)
18. Hadith Munqathi' (hadith that is unconnected/narrators dropped but not in sequence)
19. Hadith Mu'dhal (hadith in which two narrators were dropped/in a sequence)
20. Hadith Mudallas (There are two types: (a) narrator did not mention the name of his shaykh and only mention the person before his shaykh by saying 'from' or 'an'. Secondly (b) narrator did not omit his shaykh but mentions only his attributes)
21. Hadith Syaz (narrated by one narrator who is tsiqah/reliable but is contradicting with another chain which is more reliable) 
22. Hadith Maqlub (two types: narrators got mixed up/chain of narrations got mixed up from the originals)
23. Hadith Fard (hadith involving only one reliable narrator e.g. the hadith from Saidina Umar r.a. on Innamal a'mmalu bin niyyat/Indeed all actions are based on the intentions. Or it can be a hadith that is attributed to a certain group of people e.g. narrators happen to be from the same area.)
24. Hadith Mu'alal (hadith that contains a hidden flaw)
25. Hadith Mudhtarib (hadith whose chain or contents are contradicting. This is considered hadith dhaif)
26. Hadith Mudraj (a hadith that contains a new word/phrase added to it or narrator added to the chain)
27. Hadith Mudabbaj (hadith narrated by people of the same age/their contemporaries)
28. Hadith Muttafiq (hadith narrated by narrator whose spelling of his name and pronunciation are the same)
29. Hadith Muftariq (opposite of Hadith Muttafiq)
30. Hadith Mu'talif (the spelling of the narrators' names are the same but they are different people e.g. they were at least five people named Anas bin Malik)
31. Hadith Mukhtalif (opposite of Hadith Mu'talif)
32. Hadith Munkar (narrated by unacceptable/dhaif narrator and contradicts with another tsiqa/reliable narrator. This hadith is of the lowest degree in the category of Hadith Dhaif)  



May I be forgiven for any errors. Please always refer to your shaykh/guide. And I sure hope I won't be bombarded with questions about the nitty gritty of the above. LOL. Am merely putting it on record here for my own reference and share a bit as instructed by Shaykh Dr Hisham.  

Shaykh Dr Hisham also granted the class with ijazah for Imam Nawawi's Forty Hadith with sanad that is Aliy. That is one more precious present for yours truly, today. YaHuuu!

Alhamdulillahi hamdan yuwafi niámahu wa yukafi u mazidah.
Allah is indeed Most Compassionate and Most Generous. 


p/s
It does not matter that some self-righteous women had ridiculed me and even called me bohsia (slut). Let the mortals dishonor us as we rejoice in having Allah and the Prophet (s.a.w) honor us with the best of gifts! 
: D
    

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Salam Ikhwan - Shaykh Masood Yusuf from Guyana



Bismillah.

After a long spell of silence, we have got something special to share on Al Falah TV YouTube channel. Alhamdulillah indeed. We did not plan for this shooting but it just came together by the qadar of Allah. 

Our DSLR has been ill and we have been busy working on something else but all of a sudden we got to meet Shaykh Masood for the first time at our small office in KL last weekend. And we did this using two tiny but powerful GoPro. Size does not matter. Thank goodness.

I have in a couple of postings ago, mentioned the shaykh's background, now you can watch and listen yourself.

Let's heed his advice.
Dedicate ourself to khair, give our best and keep our intention pure. 

WaSalamualaikum warahmatullah.

p/s

Look out for more videos of Shaykh Masood - a series of lessons on Imam Nawawi's Kitab Al Maqasid. The chosen topic is tasawwuf.

Do also check out www.alfalahtv.net
I hope and I hope to share more blog postings at the website.
Please bear with us, it's WIP - work in progress still.
Insha Allah.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Praise Allah for another morning | One morning out of 23,000 mornings

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillahi hamdan yuwafi ni amahu 
wa yukafi u mazidah

One morning in KL
16.1.16

If we could live up to the age of 80, we will have spent around 23,000 mornings as an adult. That is: 80 years minus 15 [assuming we reach puberty at the age of 15] multiplied with 365 days.

So I have had about 10,000+ mornings as an adult. How many Fajars have I enjoyed or missed? God knows best! What about you?

Below is a beautiful duá shared by one of our learned readers. It's originally in Malay. So here's my feeble attempt at translating it. It's something worth asking the Lord every morning.

***
Allahumma Ya Fattah Ya Basir Ya Wasi'
open the eyes of my heart as wide as possible
and light it up with Your Nur, O Ya Nur
as bright as possible
so I could see
Your care and love
Ya Rahman Ya Rahim Ya Rauf Ya Wadud
for each second of my life
as You guide me to Your Heavens

Ya Aziz Ya Qawi Ya Matin Ya Sabur
fortify my soul, and bathe it
with the waters of Your Patience
so that I am able to preserve in my heart
iman towards You

Ya Hafiz Ya Muhaimin
Protect and shelter me 
from the trappings and tricks
of the shayatin.

Ameen.

***

May Allah grant us the tawfiq to rise and embrace each morning in our lives.
May we have beautiful mornings for the rest of our lives.

Ameen.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Love what you are learning to do

Bismillah.

"Success is no accident. 
It is hardwork, 
perseverance, 
learning, 
studying, 
sacrifice, 
and most of all 
love of what you are doing 
or learning to do." 
- Pele

Pele the football legend said so. In case you are not familiar with the name Pele.

I am sure many of you are having a hectic week too. As we push ourselves forward, sometimes we forget to love what we are doing or learning to do.

In my case, I should remember more often, to love what I am learning to do.


Three inspiring objects on my desk (at least to me)
1. Allah's promise that: In His Hand is all good.
2. A picture to remind me to keep busy planting seeds.
3. Money (wish those were hundred dollar notes LOL)

Someone said to me in a rather cynical tone: ''Good luck. Cos you're going to need it."

It broke my heart cos I could sense the underlying sickening tone. When someone offers you kind words sincerely, you would of course feel the warmth and love instantaneously. And you could also tell if someone mean the opposite.

But hey, Allah says in Surah Yusuf:
"Do NOT let their words sadden you."
Wala yahzun ka qau luhum


: )

Stay happy folks.

p/s
I think people who are snobbish like that person who ridiculed me, must have forgotten that Allah holds them by the forelock too!




Tuesday, January 12, 2016

www.alfalahtv.net

Bismillah.

Assalamualaikum folks,

Do check out the website for Al Falah TV

It is Al Falah TV dot net.
Not dot com.
It is www.alfalahtv.net

It's been around since August 2015 actually. The layout should be more palatable for people who prefer surfing webpages but not so keen on exploring YouTube channel per se.

It's just a small effort by the team to continually improve our work. Remember the advice of Shaykh Masood as posted before: we have to dedicate ourselves to doing good deeds and do our best at it. And keep our intentions pure.

There's a blog section on the webpage for people who just can't get enough of blogs. LOL. 




May Allah forgive us. May Allah erase our bad deeds. May Allah accept and multiply our good deeds. Ameen.

Wish yáll a productive week.





Sunday, January 10, 2016

That you may know each other | Keep up the good work

Bismillah.

Assalamualaikum,
Hi folks,

I wonder how good you are in Geography. It was one of my favorite subjects in school because it's fun and I tend to do well in it so it helped improve my overall scoring. But lately, I realized my Geography is not as good as I thought.

I took for granted where Guyana is until a shaykh from that country was going to visit my place. To be honest, I actually thought Guyana is one of the countries in Africa. LOL. Pardon me Guyanese.

That is why Allah the Almighty already told us in the Quran in Surah Hujurat that He made us into nations and tribes so that we may know each other. 

So where is Guyana? 

I am sure the males among us will know Venezuela because it's one country that produces many Miss World and Miss Universe, methinks. LOL. And the football fans among us surely know where Brazil is. Right, these countries are in South America.

Venezuela is to the left of Guyana and Brazil is to the south of Guyana. And know that Guyana is not the same as French Guyana. I thought they were one and the same but nay. So I learned from Shaykh Masood Yusuf that Suriname is to the right of Guyana and used to be known as Dutch Guyana but they dropped the name and opted for a new name - Suriname. The country that is to the right of Suriname is French Guyana because it used to be a French colony.

Guyana's capital is Georgetown. Just like Penang's capital George Town, but spelled differently. [Mind your spelling folks. LOL.] 

The Dutch did colonize Guyana too before the British so they were at one time known as British Guyana. According to Mr Wiki, Guyana means "the land of many waters" and it is the only country in South America that has English as its official language. Ahah, no wonder Shaykh Masood Yusuf's English is flawless.

Okay that's a bit of Geography and History lesson for you.

And here's a good advice from Shaykh Masood Yusuf. A good advice for us as we gear up for the new year. 

"Have the consciousness of Allah in whatever you are doing. Have the purest of intention. Dedicate yourself to it if it's something good, dedicate yourself to it so that you are best at it. The Prophet said: "The best of you is the one who is most beneficial to others.'' Dedicate yourself to khair, to something good and do it with the purest intention. Do it to the best of your ability, in the best way possible. In whatever it is that you are doing, try to reach the depth of Islamic nature in it, so that Islam is seen as beautiful, it's attractive and not repel people from the beauty of Islam. That what we do and how we do it attract people to the beauty of Islam and not repel people due to ugliness of our actions and intentions that may live within it."

***
Almost verbatim quote there. Please wait for my small team to upload videos of his talks on Al Falah TV YouTube channel, Insha Allah. Shaykh Masood is very articulate. You'll see. Insha Allah.

In the meantime, please go ask your neighbors and buddies to subscribe to Al Falah TV YouTube channel ok : )

On my table this Sunday evening.
Good to learn Geography and History.
Rabbi zidni ilma war zuqni fahma

p/s
I still owe you updates for the Penang Mawlid Akbar posting : (


Saturday, January 9, 2016

Special guest | Mimic the heart of Rasulullah salallah alaihi wasalam

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillahi hamdan yuwafi niámahu wayukafi u mazidah

If I could ask the Lord for a permanent weekend job, it would be to prep my small crib to entertain special guests like this one Shaykh who honored me and my team with his presence. Alhamdulillah : D

I still can't stop smiling as I type this. Happy!

Guess who graced my humble abode today?

Before I reveal to you, who my special guest was, let's learn from what he had to say in relation to Imam Nawawi's book of Al-Maqasid on the section of tasawuf regarding tazkiyatul nafs which means cleansing the heart from spiritual blemishes. And maqasid means something that we strive to get. That's what the Shaykh said so I hereby regurgitate more of his words:

"Two key points out of five foundations on tasawuf are taqwa and following the sunnah of Rasulullah salallahalaihi wasalam."

"Taqwa means to have the consciousness of Allah in secret and in public. It is about the consciousness of Allah that is infused with love for Allah. It is this consciousness that causes the human being to obey, not because of guilt or shame. But simply because we love Allah. The morality of Islam is different than other religion because it is not based on guilt or shame."

"The second foundation is on following the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam who is the one who loves Allah the most. If purification of the heart is relative to relationship one has with Allah then following the sunnah means following the heart of the one who is most attached to Allah. Following the sunnah means to try to mimic the heart of Rasulullah. Most people talk about following the sunnah outwardly. The actions of a person reflects what is in the heart of that person. We have to try to the best of our ability to mimic the heart of Rasulullah only then the manifestation of the outer, of our actions and words will start to resemble the actions of Rasulullah."

"The components of his heart were: love for Allah and taqwa, to be pleased with the will of Allah, to have love for others, to have respect for others, to have satisfaction with worldly state - this is sunnah. So follow the heart of Rasulullah and to follow what he did outwardly in his words and actions because they reflect the state of his heart."

***

Those were his words, almost verbatim, Shaykh Masood Yusuf, a young Shaykh from Guyana who is now in Malaysia to pursue a Master's degree. Shaykh Masood is a son of a prominent daié of Guyana in South America. His father Shaykh Hasib Yusuf was the leader of Guyana Islamic Trust and principal of an Islamic School in a country where only 15% of its population are Muslims. Shaykh Masood was the first batch to have graduated from the first accredited Islamic institution in Guyana. He then continued his studies in Egypt, Makkah and Madinah. He speaks excellent English. Shaykh Masood in my opinion is very articulate. Masha Allah. He reminds me of young Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin when the latter was not yet well known - an "English version" of Habib Ali, if I may say so.

He is 28. Yes, 28! When I commented on his age, he mentioned a few prominent shuyukh who "graduated" and became a shaykh at a very young age. One such person was Shaykh Zakariya Al Kandahlawi (1884 - 1982) who wrote three volumes of commentary on Arabic classical text at the age of 13 and wrote twenty over volumes of commentary on Imam Malik's Muwatta' when he was 19. 

According to Shaykh Masood, in certain cultures, it is common to find young men who have undergone Islamic education and training quite early in life.      

Masha Allah, tabarakallah.

Shaykh Masood Yusuf

p/s

Subscribe to Al Falah TV YouTube channel so you won't miss recordings of Shaykh Masood's tausiyah on Imam Nawawi's Al-Maqasid, focusing on tasawuf.

And you will also get to see him talk about Muslims in Guyana, his background and what brought him to Malaysia.

Insya Allah.


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Be led by your dreams

Bismillah.

Hi folks,
It's 6.1.2016. It's the 6th day of the new year.
Alhamdulillah, I should give a pat on my back because today I did something brave for the sake of goodness, for the sake of the religion, for the sake of Allah. Alhamdulillah.

It feels good to rid off any mental clouds that hover above one's head. It feels good to speak up for the sake of the truth. It feels good to speak one's mind. It feels good to know when to say no and do so.

Here's a poster borrowed from Exa Publishing FB. Be led by your dreams!



Ahh...I still owe you an update on the Penang Mawlid posting. Please wait. I've got so many things on my plate. We have to go step by step.

By the way, what's your new year resolutions, people? I want to declare mine so that I would stick to it. I have got only one resolution. A major one.

I will NOT buy anymore clothes this year!
No, I won't! 
No, I won't buy anymore clothes in 2016! 
Bismillah, I won't!

I have always been carefree about spending on clothes just because. But it's about time I change the bad habit. It's about time I think about the needs of some underprivileged community I have visited. It's not an easy resolution to have but try I must. Insya Allah.  

My confession: I have got more than enough clothes to keep half of my wardrobe at my Penang home. So I need not pack any clothes when I balik kampung. Enough abaya to wear to majlis ta'alim 7 days a week, if I need to; enough Eid outfits (new/not yet worn dress); enough sleepwear; enough casual wear, ENOUGH. 

The key word is actually qanaah = feeling content with what we have. Feeling satisfied with Allah's blessings. May Allah help us understand and live the true meanings of qanaah. Ameen.

***
By the way, here's another pic from my cycling adventure around George Town last Saturday. Visit Penang yáll - it is a UNESCO's World Heritage site : D

Be led by your dreams!
But remember qanaah!
The tote bag I designed, says: "I am a multi millionaire"
: )
Alhamdulillahi hamdan yuwafi
niámahu wa yukafi u mazidah



Monday, January 4, 2016

2016 - praying for great health and faith

Bismillah.

Assalamualaikum my dear readers,

It's first day at work for 2016, for most of us. Not me, not yet ; )

But let's mark this first day of work anyway.

By the way, please give me some time to update the posting on Penang's Mawlid Akbar insya Allah.

Before leaving Penang yesterday, I visited Penang's most cherished pious old man. He is like the father/grandfather of Penang Muslims - Datuk Shaykh Abdullah Bukhari. A video of his is available on Al Falah TV YouTube channel. He was the longest serving imam of Masjid Kapitan Keling, the oldest mosque in Penang.

Datuk Abdullah is currently being treated at Penang's General Hospital. Let us all pray so that Allah will restore his health and grant him a long life because the Muslim community in Penang is in need of his blessed presence. He looked fine and his voice sounded much better. I presumed he underwent a successful throat surgery which he was telling us about during our last visit.

The difference between an unassuming veteran shaykh and the younger generation Shuyukh is quite striking, in my opinion. When I visited him at the hospital, I didn't have to go through his aides. There's no protocol whatsoever. He was lying in bed looking fresh despite his illness. When I stood by him, he smiled and immediately raised his hands to recite du'a. Masha Allah tabarakallah! I need not ask. He was genuinely generous and caring, showing so much compassion, despite being unwell.

I think that's the spirit, we should always wear a smile and look happy for people.



   
p/s


Alhamdulillah, with tawfiq from Allah, I was able to complete 10,000 salawat as recommended by Habib Umar bin Hafiz.

Masjid Kapitan Keling will be hosting a 1-million salawat event at the end of January. I am not sure how exactly it will be organized, but it's worth joining. 
Allahumma salli ala Sayyidina Muhammad 
habibur rahman adadama yaqun wama qadkan



Sunday, January 3, 2016

Penang's Mawlid Akbar at Masjid Kapitan Keling

Bismillah.

Assalamualaikum

Dear honorable readers,

It's two minutes past midnight. I was at Masjid Kapitan Keling about six hours ago for a grand mawlid event. Alhamdulillah praise be to Allah for granting tawfiq so I was able to attend the majlis even though I was exhausted from my excursion around Georgetown.

My spirit is willing but my body is weak. Would like to post something beneficial I picked up at the blessed event but I have got no more energy left now. Will, afterwards, share with you a couple of lessons from tausiyah given by Habib Ali Zainal Abidin Al Hamid and Habib Dr Abdul Kadir al-Habshi of Singapore who was standing in for Habib Hassan al-Attas.

One profound thing I heard Habib Dr Abdul Kadir bin Muhammad al-Habsyi said was: Do not choose a seemingly knowledgeable person as your guru if he could not do these four things to you:
- make you have more yaqin based on knowledge
- make you think more about akhirah than dunya
- make you leave your pride and become more tawadhuk
- teach and guide with love

Actually there are five points but the habib had forgotten the fifth one and was humble to admit it.

Habib Ali Zainal Abidin elaborated verses of the Quran recited by the imam of Penang State Mosque during the opening, about being strict towards the unbelievers and being loving with the believers.



To be continued, insha Allah.



Saturday, January 2, 2016

Drive, park and cycle | When a Penangite explores Penang

Bismillah.

Hi folks.

I was up early despite feeling tired from last night's "party" and went cycling around my hometown George Town. It was so much fun. Now I have to get some rest before the next "adventure" this evening.

Guess which one is my bike?
[I am a billionaire in the making. LOL]
When you discover a neat bookshop, it changes everything.
Then we made a pit stop here to eat Apom Telur 
Indian pancakes with egg.
And swing by my mom's fave grocer to
buy habbatus sauda and papadam (Indian crackers).
I have got Indian blood, yes.
And found a flyer on Penang's Grand Mawlid
that's taking place tonight at Masjid Kapitan Keling.
Seriously,
we have to approach things step by step.
People dispersing after a mawlid event at a shop.
They were chanting pretty loud so I went to check them out.
I work in the same industry as this guy
- telecommunications and
he seems to be a diversified business person too.
That's it. Returned the bikes and headed home.

Oh, we also discovered a unique peaceful spot [tempat aman damai]. It's located right next to a historic maqam.




Okay folks, that's all, and I praise my Lord for keeping us safe during the outing. I was at first worried about cycling on the busy streets of Penang but we had jolly good fun overall. And the best catch was a superb book about books publishing. Where? Here:




Reading is a good habit, no doubt. Be like this gentleman. While waiting for his customers, he reads. He sells mee goreng mamak [Fried noodle with an Indian twist]. Cost RM3 only. That's very cheap! Only in Penang y'all.




Alhamdulillahi hamdan yuwafi ni'amahu
wa yukafi u mazidah


Friday, January 1, 2016

Glorious 2015 | Joyous 2016

Bismillah.

Kuala Lumpur - 1 Jan 2016

That's KL on the eve of the new year from my balcony.
(Pic credit: my 15 year old nephew)

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah for the precious time and space Allah has afforded us so we are able to witness His wonderful and colorful manifestation.

My 'party' in Penang will start soon after Maghrib insha Allah. I stood for hours preparing my signature once-a-year corn croquette. LOL. Just because I adore and respect my guests.

Will share more pics later insha Allah.
Enjoy your day folks!

Much love and prayers.
-E-

P/s Don't forget to finish up the 10K salawat guys!


1st Jan 2016
Very grateful to be spending time with them again
Tahfiz students who are my neighbors.
Majority of them are from Cambodia.
Glad to be able to see them today before they balik kampung tomorrow.  
Isha prayers


25 of them altogether.
10 got to eat at my most favorite spot in the house.
Told them it took me 5 hours to prepare 60+ corn croquettes
all handmade with love : )
p/s
Pardon me for the blurry pics.
Memories and thoughts of them shall remain crystal clear, forever.