Saturday, June 25, 2016

Going Places | Paint the town Ramadan

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah....I have had a wonderful day
: D

Nope not going back to my hometown Penang yet. Penang is on the cover of the Going Places in flight magazine for Malaysia Airlines. Seeing Penang on the cover made me smile from ear to ear.

Penang map there on the cover : D
But....I almost jumped from my seat when the gentlemen next to me introduced himself as the lyricist for the uber-popular evergreen Raya (Eid) songs! OMG, I have been listening to his Raya songs since I was a kid and I got to meet the lyricist! MashaAllah.

Mr Yusnor Ef wrote many hit Raya songs
sang by Sanisah Huri among others - like the one below.
Imagine Mr Yusnor singing for me several of the hit songs he wrote
and I sang along with him! Oh what joy this season : )
He is also an expert in documentary production, mind you.



Praise be to Allah that I get to once again travel during Ramadan. Two previous unforgettable Ramadan trips were to Rome and Seoul. No matter which city or town you travel to this season, you'll get to see Muslims painting the town Ramadan! 

Post-terawih I decided to "paint the town red" as a 'revenge' cos my iman was challenged at seeing these snacks upon check-in at noon as it was hot and I was hungry. LOL.


Post-terawih: paint the town red with red burger and red chips! LOL

OK folks, more about my trip next time In sha Allah.

Best Regards,
E














Friday, June 24, 2016

Ramadan Kareem | Trust Allah

Bismillah.




How could we ignore the fact that we are approaching the night of the 19th of Ramadan 1437H; that we are approaching the last phase of Ramadan. And the fact that today is the second last Friday of Ramadan.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah that we have made it this far. May Allah grant us a long life so we could live through the entire Ramadan and enliven it in the best manner.

Habib Ali Zainal Abidin Al-Hamid said in a special Ramadan message concerning duá: "One of the adab for making duá is yaqin".

Let's mind our adab and have yaqin that He will grant our pleas.

Let's keep our trust in Allah that all will be well and that He will destine that which is only the best for each of His servant. Let's strive to wear the traits that would destine us to success, especially in the last ten days of Ramadan.

Jumaah Mubarak!

Thirty Ramadan Bites of Wisdom
by Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al Jilani
on Al Falah TV YouTube channel
Ramadan Trivia:

In between the saf of ladies praying, there are rows of handbags and water bottles. I remind myself and others to avoid bringing large handbags during Isha Terawih unless you pray in the first saf or near a pillar where there is usually a large space to place your belongings. And of course we are to put our phones on silent. Please don't even put it on vibrate mode cos I had one phone vibrating at my feet the other day! The lady behind me had her handbag near my feet and her phone was vibrating! Yes it would be nice to get my calf massaged post-terawih but not during. Thank God it wasn't too ticklish. LOL.



Sunday, June 19, 2016

The rest of Ramadan | Allahu Akram

Bismillah.




Assalamualaikum folks.

Just a short posting to wish you all the best for the rest of Ramadan. I will be pretty occupied in the coming days/weeks thus I may not be so regular here. On top of the Ramadan routine, I will be extra busy working and travelling bi-iznillah. Still I hope to share anything interesting that's presented in the present, whenever possible.

Sometimes we wait impatiently and nervously for the best moments to happen in the future, forgetting the gift of the present. We need not be too anxious about what will or will not happen. The future need not be so blurry, for it is comprised of only one day - tomorrow. In sha Allah.

Don't forget to make niyyat to fast tomorrow : D

Nawaitu sau maqadin an ada-i fardhi syahri Ramadana ha zihis sanati lillahi taala.

Allahu Akram

***
Ramadan Trivia
I couldn't resist taking a photo with Makcik Aishah on our second meeting today. She looks a bit like me, no wonder we clicked right from the start : D

Makcik Aishah @ Bazaar Ramadan Kampung Bharu.
She smiles to everyone who offers her a small token
but if you care to spare some time to chat with her,
you'll see tears of joy on her beautiful face.
May Allah grant her sihal wal afiah. Ameen.
Makcik Aishah got excited seeing herself on the phone camera.
She asked: "Apa ni?" [What is this?]
: )
She is from Kedah (a state in the northern part of Peninsular Malaysia). She lives with her husband in a rented room near Chow Kit, neighboring Kampung Bharu.

This is her story during our first meeting last weekend:
"My husband is not well, he has high blood pressure and is resting at home. I too have high blood pressure. Do you know a place with kitchen facilities where I could rent? I can't cook at the room where I am renting. I receive zakat from the authority. We will balik kampung (go back to our hometown) after Raya (Eid) after getting the zakat money."

Her story today - our second meeting:
"Ahhh...where is your mother. [I told her before I wanted to bring my mom to see her]. Where do you live? I have not missed fasting yet [grin]. Unfortunately, my husband, Rahim is not using a mobile phone anymore. [During the first meeting I asked how we could be in touch]."

When I tried to persuade Makcik Aishah to move to a Pondok (Islamic old folks home) in Penang, where she can cook and spend more time attending religious classes, this is her response:
"Oh Penang is not far from my kampung. We decided to move to KL hoping for a better life. My husband used to sell belacan (shrimp paste) but now we don't have a car so he can't do it anymore. Let me ask my husband about living in Pondok."  

If you happen to go to the Bazaar Ramadan at Jalan Raja Alang in Kampung Bharu, do look out for Makcik Aishah. She usually sits somewhere near a Thai Iced Tea stall, about 200 meters from the Bazaar entrance, look to your right.

Pray, we could arrange a better home for Makcik Aishah and her husband, In sha Allah

Ramadan Kareem!



Saturday, June 18, 2016

Grey KL | Pray

Bismillah.

Subhanallah I have never seen KL this grey!

This was captured just before Iftar, yesterday (Friday).




May Allah guide us out of zulmah (darkness).

May Allah shower our hearts and minds with golden lights, 
with nur of the Noble Quran.

O Allah, Al HadiAl Nur. 

Rabbana atmim lana nuurana
waq firlana
innaka ala kulli syai in qadir

Our Lord,
Perfect our light for us
and grant us forgiveness
for You have power over all things.

Ameen.



Friday, June 17, 2016

Either you read or you plead

Bismillah.



Jummah Mubarrak!

I crafted the above poster based on the lesson posted yesterday - lesson by Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin Al-Hamid on why we should make as much duá as possible. This is my takeaway from the lesson: for anyone who wishes to be "online" with Allah, he/she should either read the Quran or plead to Him through duá. Either you read or you plead. That's the way to go as far as communicating with Allah is concerned. 

***

O Allah, O Ya Latif, Ya Wahab the Bestower of Bounties, please make this second phase of Ramadan even better than the first. Give us good health and good strength, physically and mentally, so that we could perform our ibadah in the best manner. That you accept it from us and forgive us for we are not capable of worshiping you as you ought to be worshiped.
Ameen.

***

Ramadan Trivia
A Muslim man came up to me when I was doing grocery with my mother today. He politely asked: 'May I ask for your help?' Then he struggled with a piece of paper of "Things to Buy". He paused, unsure what the question was. So I asked: "You need me to figure out those handwriting?"

"No. I just need to know what 'bunga lawang' is [finger pointing at one of the items on the long list]. What is it in English?"

I confidently [wrongly] replied and my mother was quick to correct me afterwards:
"Oh...cardamon, the white thingy. Oh no...sorry that's buah pelaga. Bunga lawang is aniseed."

The guy looked even more confused now.

So I explained: "It looks like a star, a brown star."

"Ah...that one, yes I know brown star! But where in the store can I find it?"

"At the spice section." [of course, as it is not a bunga (flower)]

"I will come and ask you again if I couldn't find it, ok?"

"OK"
 [Now I know why one of my schoolmates described me as "sweet & spicy". I know a bit about spice. LOL]

When he walked away, I quickly googled to double check if I was right. LOL.

Then I saw him struggle looking for cinnamon sticks. And I came to the rescue : D

Moral of the story:
Go do grocery without phone [or carry phone without data LOL] so you don't have to depend on Mr. Google, so you could give people [like me] the opportunity to help and hopefully gain extra 10 points this Ramadan. LOL.

On this blessed Friday, if you think you are cute or "sweet & spicy", think again. Just look at this hairy, super-cute guy : )






Thursday, June 16, 2016

Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin Al-Hamid on the importance of making supplication especially in Ramadan

Bismillah.

Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin Al-Hamid
of Darul Murtadza Malaysia
recorded a special Ramadan message on the importance of duá  

Habib Ali begins his tausiyah by quoting a verse from the Quran:
"When my servant ask you about Me, then (tell them that) I am near. I respond to the call of one when he prays to Me; so they should respond to Me, and have faith in Me, so that they may be on the right path." (Al Baqarah-186)

This verse appears between several verses regarding Ramadan and fasting. It is a verse about making duá (supplication). It is a verse alluding to the importance of making duá especially for a person who is fasting, more so in Ramadan. 

Prophet Muhammad says: Du'a of those who fast will not be rejected. We must make duá in all situations especially during iftar, at night, after solah and at the times/places during which we are encouraged to make du'a.

Allah makes du'a as a means for us to converse with Him and make our pleas to Him. There is a saying by ulama that for those who wish for Allah to speak to them, let them read the Quran. And those who wish to speak to Him, let them perform solah and make du'a.

Reading the Quran is akin to having Allah communicating with the reader. But if we intend to have a discourse with Allah, then we should pray and make supplication. For those who are near (qarib) to Allah, they would find it pleasing conversing with Him because they know they are talking and pleading to the Essence which is Latif (Most Subtle), Most Compassionate, Most Giving, Most Generous, Most Helpful. Therefore, we should confide in Allah for anything and everything we need.

Allah tells us in the Quran about a person whom He has made special, whom He singled out to be the one who could speak directly with Him. The person is none other than Prophet Musa a.s. who is also known as Kalimullah. When Allah asked Musa: "What is in your hand?" Prophet Musa answered with a long reply: "It's my stick. I lean on it. I use it for herding my goats and I have several other purpose for it." 

Prophet Musa gave a long detail explanation in response to a simple question from Allah because Musa enjoyed having conversation with Allah. We too, have the tendency to talk at great length with those whom we adore.

The conclusion is this: making duá is a beautiful thing, it is a pleasure to speak to Allah through duá, for all our needs. "O mankind, it is you who stand in need of Allah, but Allah is Rich, worthy of Praise." (Surah Fatir:15)   

Prophet Muhammad salallah alihi wasalam says: duá is mukhul ibadah, it is the "brain" of ibadah. Du'a itself is ibadah. Making duá in ibadah is analogous to the spirit of a body. Ibadah is the body and duá is the spirit.

There is duá in all the ibadah which Prophet Muhammad taught us. There is duá in solah. We say: ihdinas siratal mustaqim. We pray for Allah to keep us on the Straight Path. There are important duá in fasting. There is duá in zakat too. We say: "This blessing is from You, and we return it to You, please accept our zakat." The duá is similar for qurban. And there is also duá for Hajj. When Prophet Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam had put on the ihram and was approaching Mekah, he made a duá: "O Allah let there be no riya in this Hajj and grant me sincerity."      

So, there is duá in solah, siyam, zakat and hajj. Duá is mukhul ibadah. It is the brain of ibadah. The essence of ibadah is duá.

***
May I be forgiven for any mistakes in the translation. Let's wait for the second part of the video to be released in which Habib Ali will speak on the etiquettes of du'a. Wallahu alam.
Credit: https://www.facebook.com/darulmurtadza

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Don't sleep the night away. Don't sleep your life away! - Shaykh Dr Muhammad bin Yahya An-Ninowy | Reflections - Ramadan is a month of sabr

Bismillah.

Shaykh Dr Muhammad bin Yahya An-Ninowy
on Malaysian TV Al Hijrah
14 June 2016

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.
I just got home from Tarawih feeling a little upset with myself cos my khusyuk level was like "below sea level" that's like drowning, no good. LOL.

But Allah Kareem, it's such a joy to see our qurratu ain Shaykh Dr Muhammad bin Yahya An-Ninowy the moment I stepped into the house. It's super-wonderful to see Shaykh Ninowy on Malaysian TV Al Hijrah. Kudos to the Producer, and we say jazakallah!

Not sure how much of the show I had missed though, anyhow, below are some points which I managed to jot down. The program is called "Reflections" and the topic was "Ramadan - Month of Sabr."

  • We have to be patient (sabr) in doing good deeds, because we are tired from fasting and having to work and then in the evening we have to go the masjid for tarawih and qiyamulail.
  • We also need patience in avoiding bad deeds because it takes determination to refrain oneself from engaging in a negative act.
  • Ramadan is a month that has got plenty of Al Muwasat. [This is a new Arabic word for me. Alhamdulillah]. Al Muwasat means doing acts of kindness to people. We see lots of people being kind to one another in Ramadan. We have got the opportunity to offer food for people to break their fast, either at home or at the masjid. It doesn't have to be extravagant, yet don't make it too simple. Make it [iftar hosting] good and sweet, said the Shaykh.
  • Ramadan is not only a school of sabr. It is also a school of mahabbah, purification, transparency and also a school of the Quran. 
  • Be a ''people of the Quran". People of the Quran are people of Allah. Don't just recite it, you have to be a practitioner, be a walking Quran.
  • Imam Ghazali outlines three conditions to make a practice successful.
    • First: You must make a contract with your nafs. Äsk: "O self, are you going to behave this Ramadan?" You must get your nafs to agree with you in doing good.
    • Second: You must renew your niyat and motivation. There are two milestones in Ramadan i.e. the first ten days and the second ten days. Even if you are badly lacking during the first 20 days of Ramadan, don't give up, because there are another 10 days left. Renew your niyat and motivation at these milestones.
    • Third: You must evaluate the results that you have yield. Do you come out of Ramadan with a new good habit e.g. praying sunat fajar? Do you now fast on Mondays and Thursdays? Do you spend the night wisely or do you sleep the night away? Don't sleep the night away. Don't sleep your life away!
  • Every night in Ramadan, Allah will issue pardon to a group of people. Ask yourself: "Did I belong to this group yesterday? Do I belong to this group today? Will I ever belong to this group at all this Ramadan?"
  • Ramadan is about siyam and Quran. Honor Ramadan as a guest. Make the Quran your friend in Ramadan. If you do well, you could actually call upon Ramadan to testify in your favor before Allah. You could say: "O Allah, call Ramadan 1437 Hijri as a witness. I did well that year." You could also call the Quran to testify for you. 
  • The night of Qadar is of course a special occasion where there is peace until fajar. Make it as a fajar or nur that comes into your heart.
  • You must learn to change your life into ibadah. For example, in Ramadan, sleeping is considered ibadah because you make the niyyat asking Allah, "O Allah please let me have four hours of sleep, I need it as I want to wake up for suhur and subuh and then I have to go to work." So you learn time management in Ramadan.
  • Being clean is also ibadah. Clean the toilet, your clothes etc. all are ibadah. Visiting one another for the sake of Allah is ibadah too. 
  • So, post-Ramadan, change your life to be a "small Ramadan".

Shaykh Ninowy ended his tausiyah with a prayer so that Allah grant us all forgiveness and we receive His pardon. Ameen.

****

Ramadan Trivia:
My mother was sleeping in the living room as I was watching Shaykh Ninowy. About twenty minutes after the program was over, she called me saying she dreamt of Shaykh Ninowy in the house and in the dream she scolded me as to why I had not switched on the lights when the Shaykh was leaving!

Oh dear Shaykh : )
Subhanallah



Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Vivify life with ubudiyah and vivify Ramadan - Habib Ali Zainal Abidin Al-Hamid

Bismillah.

Habib Ali Zainal Abidin Al-Hamid
on arrival at a masjid in KL for Zohor Tazkirah


Imarah was the key word for Habib Ali's tazkirah (lecture).

The closest English translation for imarah, in my opinion is vivify which according to Merriam Webster means "to make something more vivid or lively" that is to impart vitality to something. Another synonym for the word is enliven. As we all know, we are to enliven our homes with zikir.

Habib Ali Zainal Abidin says in his tazkirah:
Allah creates man to enliven the earth. A place is enlivened with the presence of man even if there is absolutely nothing there. We must have the attitude of vivifying a thing. We must vivify our age. We must vivify the mosque. Those who play their role to vivify the essentials while living on this earth will find Allah vivifying their grave once they have served their purpose.

We are not just talking about constructing buildings. In fact, people of the past had done better in this respect. They built pyramids. They carved rocks, turning mountains into unique homes. Prophet Sulaiman had a building decorated with diamonds and gems. All these remain as history.

But there are two aspects to imarah - one which is zahir and also batin. The zahir aspect of imarah is not the main objective. What is more important is that of batin that we should enliven the earth, this life with ubudiyah (servitude) whilst taking care of the environment.

Allah says in the Quran in the form of an analogy: He who wishes for gardens in the akhirah will be granted more than what he asks for. He who wishes for gardens in the dunya will be given partial of his request in the dunya.

Take note of the underlying meaning. One who wishes for dunya will not be granted much of the akhirah and only a portion of the dunya. A wise person knows what is the purpose of his/her activities in this world.

We are now in Ramadan, a month which we should vivify. It's a month for us to enliven the time and place i.e. mosque with ibadah. Prophet Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam did plenty to impart vitality to his life, places and selected times. It is sunnatullah that Allah creates the changing seasons. Allah accords status to certain places (for example Masjidil Haram); time (e.g. Day of Arafah) and also people i.e. the anbiya so that people could benefit from them. Therein lies Allah's secrets. Prophet Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam took full advantage of the blessed Ramadan. So did Saidatina Aishah who secluded herself in the last ten days of Ramadan.

As said the Prophet, Allah would grant three rewards for each supplication made, except for those who ask for a munkar or those who ask to break ties. Anyone who makes a duá will be guaranteed three things: 1) the petition will be fulfilled 2) the request will be reserved and 3) Allah will protect the person from harm.

Upon hearing this, the sahabah remarked: "We shall make more duá then."            

It is as if the Prophet is challenging us to not be contented with our amal. That we should do more, ask for more from Allah because Allah can give us a lot more. Do not be fooled by your amal, thinking you have done a lot already. During the Battle of Badar when there was shortage of camels (transport), the sahabah offered a camel to the Prophet so he could ride while they walk. Prophet Muhammad, however, refused the offer, saying: "I have not gotten enough rewards from Allah and I would as much like to have that which you have (i.e. the bigger rewards of walking as compared to riding a camel)"

One who appreciates the vastness of Allah's bounties would hasten to do more good deeds. Do not be fooled by your own amal thinking it's sufficient to just do the obligatory. Also be wary of the tricks of Shayatin who could make a bad deed appears as good. Be mindful of how smart they were when they enticed Adam and Hawa with khuldi. That Adam and Hawa might become angels or live in the Heavens for eternity. Whereas Allah had forbidden them to go near it.

There is a sign for one who is given the secrets of Ramadan. It is for one who understood well the purpose of Ramadan being a gift from Allah. We are often told to pray and fast so that we become people of taqwa. What does taqwa mean? Taqwa was defined with a gesture (pointing to the chest/heart) and also in words. In relation to taqwa being something that is in the heart, it remains as a secret between the person and Allah. In addition to this batin aspect of taqwa, there are also outer signs of taqwa. Know the criteria of taqwa so that you leave Ramadan as a person who has taqwa:
  1. Those who hasten/compete in asking for pardon from Allah and ask for His Heavens.
  2. Those who give sadaqah/infaq.
  3. Those who control their anger.
  4. Those who are ready to forgive people, especially those who have wronged them.
  • Who do we compete with, in asking Allah's forgiveness? Even if we don't compete, Allah might pardon us. We don't compete with others. We compete with our ajal (death) so that ajal will not reach us sooner than our asking for Allah's pardon. We hasten to fulfill our ambitions/wishes while death hastens to reach us.
  • With regard to infaq, we are encouraged to give when we are in good health during good times; when we ourselves are in need; when we feel challenged and when we fear poverty. It is possible that he/she who gives away 1 dirham could gain more from the infaq than he/she who gives away 1000 dirham depending on the situation of the giver at the point of making the infaq.
  • We are allowed to feel angry but we must have the strength to control our anger. Anger is from shayatin whereas those who are patient exemplifies the character of Allah. People who are angered often do the wrong things. Prophet Musa alaihisalam too expressed his anger on one particular occasion.
  • While it may be easy to forgive people in general, it may not be as easy to forgive people who have hurt us, those who make us angry. To be willing to forgive all is a sign of taqwa.       

*****
Allahu a'lam.
May I be forgiven for any unintentional mistakes in my translation.
On a lighter note, I'd like to think that I am on the same frequency as Habib Ali...cos I wore the same color as he did. We both wore navy blue jubah. Same Pantone code I bet. LOL Need I show proof?

Ramadan Kareem!
: )
      

Monday, June 13, 2016

Have resolve | Make the intentions and keep trying

Bismillah

We have crafted this video based on an earlier posting - a lesson taught by Habib Abu Bakar Al-Adni - on intentions/resolutions we should make, each day and night of the Ramadan.

Wish yáll a productive day, week, month.
Ramadan Kareem.






Saturday, June 11, 2016

Qul huwallahu Ahad | One bodyguard | Sign up now for Global Quran Khatam for Muhammad Ali

Bismillah.

Q: Do you have a bodyguard?

Almarhum Muhammad Ali answered:
I have one bodyguard. He has no eyes though He sees. He has no ears, though he hears. He remembers everything. With the aid of mighty memory. When He wishes to create a thing, He just orders it to be and it comes into existence. But His orders is not commanded with words which takes the tongue to follow it or the sound carrying ears. He hears the secrets of those under quiet thoughts. That is God Allah. He is my bodyguard. He is your bodyguard.







Imam Zaid Shakir who led the jenazah prayer for Almarhum Muhammad Ali, encouraged us to sign up for the Global Quran Khatam for Muhammad Ali, organized by Celebrate Mercy.

Bismillah.



Pic credit: Imam Zaid Shakir via his FB

Friday, June 10, 2016

Forgiveness brings about cordialness | Jazakallah

Bismillah.

This is another poster I saw at Mc Donald's Drive Thru that brought smile to my heart.

Kemaafan menjalinkan kemesraan.
Forgiveness brings about cordialness.

It's true.




Ramadan Trivia
One day, I was feeling excited buying roasted ducks for iftar at KL's most crowded Bazaar Ramadan at Jalan Raja Alang in my neighborhood.


Roasted Duck
Bazaar Ramadan at Jalan Raja Alang in KL is also famous among tourists.
This year the City Council has put up a huge tent,
so no worries about rainy days.
Inside the tent
the crowd is simply mad.
Even more crowded than Saié between Safa and Marwah!

Yes, one day I was fine soaking in the Ramadan aura just like everyone else.

The next day, I found myself in a hospital bed just because I had wrongly and unnecessarily exposed myself to danger on the eve of Ramadan. If I could issue a fatwa, I'd say getting on water rides that is more than 100 meter above the ground is haram cos you are actually submitting yourself to danger and you sort of gamble it won't turn out bad when it actually could cause death.

I had a small accident last Sunday, on the eve of Ramadan and I could have died. The pain from the concussion did not manifest until after a couple of days, so here I am in the hospital. I pledge I will not spend anymore money, nor time on lagha activities. And I humbly remind you to not expose yourself to danger, just for the fun of it, cos it's plain stupid.

So thank God, I am getting better now.
Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.






Ramadan Kareem!
[When you hear people say this, you should say Allahu Akram. This something new I learned.]

p/s
Jazakallahu khair to all the well wishers.

Jazakallah means a lot actually. So I learned from an FB wall of a pious woman.

***
We often hear people say jazakallahu khair, jazakallahu khairan kathira, jazakallahu ahsanal jazaa. What do they mean? Does it mean "thank you"?

The Prophet salallah alaihi wasalam says: whenever you hear a person saying jazakallah to his brother/sister, that means he/she truly honors that person as he/she is truly thankful so much so that he/she leaves it to Allah to reward the person with favor. It is a phrase that represents each and every good that is by Allah.

Jazakallah means:
  • May Allah grant you His Heavens.
  • May Allah grant you the honor of seeing His countenance in the Heavens.
  • May Allah protect you from Hell fire.
  • May Allah shelter you at the time of chaos during the Resurrection.
  • May Allah protect you from the cursed Shayatin.
  • May Allah offer you plenty of provisions that's full of barakah.
  • May Allah make you belong with those who do good to their parents.
  • May Allah make you steadfast in following the Sunnah of Prophet salallah alaihi wasalam.
Saidina Abu Bakar radhiallahu anha says: If a person knew the virtues of saying jazakallah, he/she would want to say it even more frequently to each other.

Jazakallah we say to those who have taught us this.
Jazakallah we say to those who receive it.
Jazakallah we say to those who spread it.

Ameen. Walhamdulillahi Rabbil Alamin. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Ramadhan Kareem 1437 AH | Father Figure





Bismillah.

The above footage was shot at Masjid Al Bukhary in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. On average about 2,000 Muslims have their Iftar daily at the mosque. So you can imagine the rewards that Allah has for the owner of the mosque and the benefactor - a super wealthy man who is responsible for many dependents unknown to him: a wandering faqir in the city who makes the mosque his "home" where he could break his fast; busy firemen and police traffic men who are on duty who usually have iftar in the nick of time; single mothers with small children who struggle to make ends meet; foreign students who must be missing the comfort of having iftar at home; these and many more people from all walks of life have their iftar at the mosques all over the country, such as Masjid Al Bukhary. 

"The Prophet told his companions that a person who provides food for a fasting person gets the same reward as the fasting person and the angels pray for him because of his actions."
[From Riyadhus Salihin] 

***
On this Father's Day, the 9th of June, may Allah bless all fathers who are responsible for their dependents, who work hard to bring food to the table, whose love knows no bound so that each of his dependent is cared for and supported, financially, physically and emotionally. It does not matter that he has no shoes, it does not matter if he's unkempt as long as he provides a good future for his children.


A poor farmer who supported his son through college.


I couldn't agree more with this meaningful poster I saw at Mc Donalds:

Kebaikan hadir kepada yang sabar menanti.
Good things come to those who wait patiently.





Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Ramadan ala Darul Mustafa

Bismillah.

Assalamualaikum folks,

I have always wondered how the wonderful souls at Darul Mustafa in the blessed land of Tareem spend their Ramadhan. Today my curiosity has been answered. Alhamdulillah! Please click on the link below:

Some of you may already be familiar with their practices, but few things they do are new to me. That they take time to bathe before Terawih prayers and they perform four rakaat sunnah Tasbih prayers after the two rakaat sunnah Maghrib prayers. By doing so they will have qualified for a big bonus as what the Prophet has informed us: The one who prays 6 rakaat after Maghrib has the reward of 12 years of worship.  

For many of us in Malaysia, time seems very short before and after Iftar. People would rush home after work and dash to the nearest Ramadan Bazaar where you'll see people using all ten fingers to carry dozens of packed foods. LOL. If one intends to go to the mosque for Isha and Terawih prayers, then one has got to be super quick. There's not much time to clean the dishes. And if one were to sit a little longer at the dinner table to enjoy the tonnes of food bought at the Ramadan Bazaar, then that's bad news. LOL.

On the contrary, people at Darul Mustafa in Tareem truly enliven the spirit of Ramadhan.

http://muwasala.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Ramadan-Pack-2014.pdf

Here's a prayer to recite after sunnah Tasbih. As a matter of fact, it's a good prayer to reflect upon anytime.







Tuesday, June 7, 2016

How to seek the love of Allah - Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf




Bismillah.

His words are gems. As is typical of our dearest Habib Kadhim, he speaks pretty fast and is as animated as ever. He speaks from a beautiful vantage point indeed. Habib Kadhim ends his tausiyah with a du'a:

"We ask Allah that He prepares our hearts for this exalted love, and that He gives us felicity through it in this life, and in the hereafter after death and in Paradise with our Prophet salallah alihi wasalam, and the elect of Allah's righteous servants. Walhamdulillahi Rabbil Alamin."



How to attain Allah's love? First consider the verses of the Quran:
  • "Say O Prophet, If you love Allah, follow me, and Allah will love you and forgive your sins. Allah is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful."
  • "Allah loves those who turn to Him, and He loves those who keep themselves clean."
  • "Allah loves those who act with excellence."
Thus, whoever strives to have these qualities, will win the love of Allah through several means as summarised below:
  1. Tawbah
  2. Ihsan (excellence/perfection)
  3. Taharah (purity)
  4. Humility
  5. Repeating abundantly the words that are beloved to Allah.
  6. Reciting Al Ikhlas abundantly.
  7. Following sunnah of Prophet salallah alaihi wasalam.  
  • Tawbah - saying Astaghfirullah, asking for Allah's forgiveness and turning back to Him.
  • Ihsan - perfecting worship, perfecting obedience and perfecting everything that is beloved to Allah.
  • Purity - remaining in a state of purity, both inwardly and outwardly, purifying the heart from dishonesty, hatred, pride, vanity which corrupt a person's relationship with those around him and nullify righteous deeds with Allah.
  • Humility -  we are all servants/slaves of Allah. We cannot have pride as it belongs to Allah, the Glorious and Majestic. Those who are upon the way of Prophecy are called servants, whereas those who stray from the way of Prophecy are called slaves, as defined in the Quran. 
  • Zikir - by saying abundantly the words that are beloved to Allah: Subhanallah, Alhamdulillah, La ilaha ilaAllah Allahu Akbar.
  • Reciting Al Ikhlas abundantly.    
  • Following the sunnah of Prophet especially in this month of Ramadan i.e. breaking fast with one or three dates, praying Terawih and Witir. And that we should continue to give life to sunnah even when we are outside of Ramadan.

***
Credit: 
Seeker's Hub Toronto & Muwasala


Monday, June 6, 2016

Ramadan Recommended Intentions and Zikir - by Habib Umar bin Hafiz

Bismillah

Here's another precious lesson for us to heed as we embrace the Holy Month of Ramadan. It's from our venerable Habib Umar bin Hafiz.

I got this through Muwasala of course, Alhamdulillah. You should subscribe to Muwasala mailing list if you want to get some extras, than those published on their website.

Habib Umar says, there are five intentions we should make:

1. We should intend to be in the state that Allah and His Messenger love for us to be in.

2. We should seek to attain Allah's pleasure and to strengthen our following of the Messenger of Allah salallah alaihi wasalam so that we attain his companionship.

3. We should intend that a new door is opened to us in understanding the Quran and acting according to it.

4. We should intend to avoid the inward things that nullify our fast as we avoid the outward things.

5. We should truly seek to raise our fast from the fast of the ordinary people to the fast of the elite and we should aspire to attain the fast of the elite of the elite even if only for a short time.


According to Habib Umar, we should try to win the gaze of Allah on the first night of Ramadan. How?

"We do this by striving to purify our hearts, being in a state of brokenness in front of Allah and having a sincere desire to receive it. Anyone who sincerely seeks to receive it will not be disappointed."
- Habib Umar bin Hafiz


And here is the recommended zikir:




Ramadan Trivia:

Alhamdulillah I was pleased to be able to perform terawih at the newly refurbished mosque near my home. It's a wonderful feeling to see how the mosque has grown physically and has become so grand and beautiful. But my heart wept thinking of a friend who passed away, who had been given a final ghusul at the same mosque. If she was alive, I might bump into her praying terawih there cos that's her neighborhood's mosque.

On a lighter note but quite important actually, please remind your family, boys and man especially to not wear any kind of T-shirt/tops that has got any kinds of wording on the back because it's distracting, especially for people like me who reads everything including car registration numbers on the road. LOL.

The terawih was heart wrenching when the special guest-imam recited a long emotional qunut prayers.

However, I could not help but noticed one guy spotting a shirt that says: "Savings all the way". LOL. That's a good advice all right. And about six guys to his right wore a T-shirt that says: "Sogo Sale"! LOL. He must be a staff of SOGO, a popular department store in KL.

So now which message should I heed? Do I save all the way? Or do I have to go to Sogo Sale, for Eid preparations?

LOL.

p/s
Yours truly was careful to place her Tote bag face down cos she didn't want the ladies praying beside her to wonder: "Oh she went to Tokyo Disney?" or "Did she get it as a gift?" LOL.

Having it face up would have been worse for me! LOL.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Ramadan Resolutions as taught by Habib Abu Bakar al-Adni | We intend to...

Bismillah.

Translated from a lesson by Habib Abu Bakar al-Adni as shared by Ustaz Iqbal Zain, a popular Malaysian daié:




The ulama taught us about resolutions or intentions we should all make as we embrace the holy month of Ramadhan, in order to reap greater blessings and rewards.

Intention is analogous to a water hose. The more intentions we make, the greater the "hose" of blessings and support shall be.

We are referring to all the other intentions apart from the intention for siyyam (fasting) which is obligatory. We are talking about intentions in the form of resolutions.  

Some of the examples of intentions or resolutions that we are encouraged to make are as follows: 
  1. We intend as per the intentions made by Prophet Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam, the salafus soleh, the ahlul bayt and the entire companions of Prophet Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam.
  2. We intend to fast in the best manner that would be pleasing to Allah s.w.t.
  3. We intend to spend our time performing ibadah during the entire month of Ramadhan and protect ourselves from sins and transgressions.
  4. We intend to recite the Al Quran as much as possible, and make more zikir and salawat/durood for Prophet Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam
  5. We pledge to avoid doing things that would reduce the rewards of fasting, such as ghibah (back biting), namimah (slander) and lying.
  6. We pledge to make more sadaqah and be compassionate towards single-mothers, the poor and the orphans among us.
  7. We pledge to display the adab and akhlak of Islam and perform the five daily prayers in congregation.
  8. We make similar intentions as did the pious, for the first, the second and the third nights of Ramadhan. And the Laylatul Qadar.

We are encouraged to make these intentions/resolutions on each day and  night of Ramadhan.

Allah will open 70 doors of khair (goodness) for those who make a single good intention for him/herself.

***
May I be forgiven for any inaccuracy/error in the translation.
Wallahu a'lam
.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Muhammad Ali | Al Fatihah | Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee

Bismillah.

There is of course only one Muhammad, the Greatest Prophet salallah alaihi wasalam.

There is only one Muhammad Ali "The Greatest", the one and only. "Float like a butterfly. Sting like a bee. You can't hit what your eyes don't see." is one of his many brilliant quotes.

As the world's greatest sports icon and humanitarian, Muhammad Ali was in a unique position to insist on his "Star" being installed on a wall instead of the floor on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in honor of the sacred name he bears - Muhammad.

In my opinion, it's the ultimate honor a Muslim could do for the Prophet, one that attracted global attention because he was who he was - Muhammad Ali - a devout Muslim so well known on the world stage. He is also well known for being vocal about not wanting to join the Vietnam War.

"No, I'm not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the people over....If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn't have to draft me, I'd join tomorrow."  

This great man passed away on a Friday, the best of days.

Al Fatihah.




"I would like to be remembered as a man who won the heavyweight title three times,
who was humorous and who treated everyone right.
As a man who never looked down on those
who looked up to him...
who stood up for his beliefs...
who tried to unite all humankind
through faith and love."

"I don't count the sit-ups. I only start counting when it starts hurting
because they are the only ones that count.
That's what makes you a champion."

"Impossible is just a word thrown around by small men
who find it easier to live in the world they've been given
than to explore the power they have to change it.
Impossible is not a fact.
It's an opinion. 
Impossible is potential.
Impossible is temporary. 
Impossible is nothing."
***



Ref:


Keep what is worth keeping | Blow the rest away

Bismillah.

Allah...Allah...I was about to get ready for a weekend getaway and then a dear friend shared this lovely poem that puts a smile on my face. Praise be to Allah for beautiful souls around us.

"Oh, the comfort,
the inexpressible comfort,
of feeling safe with a person,
having neither to weigh thoughts and measure words,
but pouring them all right out,
just as they are, chaff and grain together,
certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them,
keep what is worth keeping,
and with the breath of kindness,
blow the rest away.
-Rex Cole


Please click on image to enlarge.

Yes, keep what is worth keeping and blow the rest away.

Thankfully there is a handful of friends and loyal readers out there who are kind enough to blow the husks and the chaff away from this blog. LOL.

And here is one of my friend, a Mekah resident, who never discriminate me based on my outer appearance nor did she ever judge me on the not-so-nice phases of my life. I hope she is quietly making a prayer for me as do another three friends who are right now in the Haramain performing umrah. May Allah make it easy for them and grant them boundless bounties. Ameen.


May Allah count our meetings as two friends
who meet and part for the sake of Allah.
Ameen.


Friday, June 3, 2016

Renunciation | Awaiting Ramadhan

Bismillah.

It's a little hard to believe that this is the last weekend in Shaaban. It's a little hard to believe, though grateful we should be that we might once again be given the opportunity to experience Ramadhan. How many people we know who have passed away last week or last month who almost made it to the holy month. It looks like we are a bit more fortunate as the Ramadhan is almost here, we might make it.

Yet we cannot be so confident about the number of days in Ramadhan we get to experience because life is fragile as we approach our deadlines, literally.

Last year, the team at Al Falah TV came up with Ramadhan Bites of Wisdom by Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani. Below is a quote from one of them. His words are usually heavily loaded with meanings. A novice like me needs plenty of time to digest them and reflect on them. It's something which you cannot just read through and comprehend right away, let alone think you are it that you have attained what the Shaykh is saying. To me, his words are like the moon which appears quite near but in reality it remains an object of admiration from afar, very far. And it's something we will never tire of watching and contemplating.  



Wish yáll a blessed Friday.

As we await Ramadhan, I wish to apologize for any unfitting words I have inadvertently uttered in anger, frustration, hatred, arrogance or ignorance.

If there is any good found in this space, it is surely from Allah. The husks have got to be from my lower nafs. Nobody likes husks, so I have blown some away. May this space remains for the truthful among us and let the non-genuine passersby, just pass by and fly in the wind.

May the winds of change of Ramadhan, make us better servants of the Lord and make us a better person at least to the next person, no matter where we are. Ameen.


WaSalamualaikum warahmatullah.



Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Hey June | Today's dream

Bismillah.




Yes, June tastes orangey, smells orangey, looks glorious orangey too.

Yes we have come to the second half of the year. And Ramadhan is just around the corner. YaHu!

Of course Ramadhan is what it is -  a great month full of blessings. Personally, I have got something extra exciting scheduled to take place in Ramadhan, bi-iznillah. It's already giving me a spring in my step. Alhamdulillah : ) 

OK folks, just a quick one to mark the beginning of sweet June. May Allah grant us good health and himmah to embrace the wonderful days ahead.

"The timeless in you 
is aware of life's timelessness. 
And knows that 
yesterday is but 
today's memory, 
and tomorrow 
is today's dream."

- Kahlil Gibran