Sunday, November 27, 2016

Whatever makes you happy | TGIF - Thank God It's [Great] Food

Bismillah.

Hello from KL. How can I not greet you this weekend - you my loyal genuine readers from all over the world. May you remain healthy and happy always.

What makes you happy this weekend?
These make me happy:
  • A new mug that says: "Whatever makes you happy, just do that!"
  • A good Architecture/Interior Design magazine. [Because I have got two ongoing projects - building another small bungalow bi-iznillah and renovating the back patio of my existing home so that we could have kenduri/party for 40 people in total without having to rent a temporary canopy outside of the house. I am all for entertaining guests. I said guests, not gate crashers, LOL!]
  • And of course, sweet sweet cream puff makes me and anyone happy.

Whatever makes you happy

Although, I wished we have got Murtabak San Francisco in KL, like those in Bandung, Indonesia. It's strange how we all name our foods after a place that has got nothing to do with the food at all. For example, in Malaysia, we have got a noodle soup called Mee Bandung. No way you can find that in Bandung. 

Murtabak in Malaysia is eternally savory. Murtabak in Bandung can be utterly sweet like the pic below. But of course Bandung is a city of culinary adventure, so anything goes, I mean not just anything, only super delicious anything. Yes!

Murtabak San Francisco - but only in Bandung.
San Francisco (SF) used to be my playground, I can't recall seeing this there, then. 
Anyhow, I'm confident Clam Chowder still is the go-to comfort food in SF and not Murtabak San Francisco. LOL.

Oh yes, this posting is looking like another rambling. The bottom line is, we praise God for giving us great foods. Alhamdulillah.

Below are more photos of some of the great food I tried during my trip to Bandung. Hope it would inspire you to travel and taste God's generosities in all seven continents and God knows how many islands.

Malaysia is famous for Banana Fritters too.
But the Banana Fritters at Kampung Daun, Bandung (pic above)
was simply out of this world!
Cakes at Kartika Sari Bandung
can make you go berserk


And this is one unforgettable BBQ Oxtail dish
at Paris Van Java mall in Bandung

OK enough of food.
Wish you a happy weekend. It's the last weekend of November, soon we shall embrace the ever so exciting December. Let's exit the year with gratitude.

Alhamdulillah hi hamdan yuwafi 
ni amahu wa yukafi u mazidah


p/s
Gotta record one more sweet memories from Bandung.
Received a text about an Indonesian newspaper wanting to interview me, but ended up having CNN Indonesia doing it. Felt like a celebrity for 3 minutes LOL. 


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Year end walk through | Walk of gratitude

Bismillah.

Found this inspiring piece of writing in my Inbox yesterday. It's about 8 strategies super-successful people are using now, to accomplish more next year. It's compiled and written by Michael Hyatt. Some of them may already be familiar to us, still I considered them refreshing and motivating. 

The eight strategies are listed below and I have summarized the key points for my own reference. May it be useful for you too. 

1. Reflect on the past year
We should block some time, the last week of December or just one day before year end, to review the year's calendar, go through our accomplishments or wins in the various areas of life e.g. work, family and decide what things we want to make happen next year so that we can live the most purposeful life we can in 2017.

2. Stay positive
We should leave the old year where it fell. Don't focus on the regrets or the negatives, build on our strengths instead. 

3. Express gratitude
Prepare a "gratitude flood" that is recall or write down every good thing or try identify 50 good things we can remember in 2016. Then ask ourselves what it is that we want to be most thankful for, one year from now. Perhaps, it's better health/weight/waist line or one new skill acquired? John Gordon takes a daily "walk of gratitude", while walking, practice gratitude and pray.

[I find having this blog useful so I could go through my postings beginning from January and see places I traveled to, photos I took, what made me tick, what bothered me etc. Similarly, going through our Instagram photos could help with this "gratitude flood" process.]     

4. Eliminate the excess
Try eliminate the bottom 30% of our activities, projects or commitments that did not give a good pay-off, those under performing tasks which we either hated or loved. By removing these from our calendar we will have freed up more time for activities which could bring in better yield. 

5. Set compelling goals
Set a clear vision for what we want to accomplish in 2017 and why we want to accomplish it. The why is crucial. Think about things that we can work on in 2017 that would make us smile. Then move on from the strategic to the tactical and organize our work accordingly so we can have that smile.

6. Break it down
Once we have decided on our goals for 2017, we should chunk them down to three or four manageable ones which we may want to achieve on quarterly basis. Lisa TerKeurst identified 3 goals namely: giving, family and personal development. She said: "This is a great year to become an expert on something. By pre-deciding what that something is, I can become a strategic student and an eventual expert." 

A great year is a result of a good month, a good week and a good day. "Best years come from best efforts performed daily." - Chris Brogan

[I want to be a fluent/better reciter of the Quran who understands the tajweed rules very well. And I want to learn the Arabic terminologies of 10 salawat which I have identified/memorized. To this end, I am grateful to have found a good Quran teacher who comes to my place twice a week. May Allah increase us in beneficial knowledge. Ameen]

7. Schedule the year
Map out the entire year by blocking out our calendar for the most important things we want to achieve in 2017. When we see the big picture in advance, we will be able to work with more purpose throughout the year.

8. Unplug for a time
Schedule your vacations/time-off to focus on God, family and fun and all other good things except work. A good time to do this is during the last week of the year so that we may embrace the new year feeling refreshed, revived and renewed.
  
Click on the link below to read the full article written by Michael Hyatt.   
Achieve What Matters Most in 2017

***

And folks, don't forget to wear a "gratitude face" : )
May the Light shine on us all, everyday of the year, this year, next year, and the next, next, next...
Ameen.


I post whatever photos of me I like.
My blog is my free country.
I am not apologetic about looking prettier in pics or in person or whatever.
No need to ask me what filter I used.
I wear a face of gratitude.
Shuh...skip this space, if it brings out the worse in you.
They say, kill your darlings, if you have to.
Peace! 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Greetings from Paris Van Java

Bismillah.

Assalamualaikum warahmatullah
Just a quick greeting, hoping your Monday is ok. My Monday is A-ok cos I have been busy holidaying and seeking knowledge in beautiful Indonesia. Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.

Of course, most of you know Bandung whose nickname is Paris Van Java is a city well known for its factory outlets, great food, volcanoes and cool weather. It's the capital of West Java province, Indonesia. Bandung is about 150 km southeast of Jakarta. It's been two decades since I last visited Indonesia! It was for a conference in Purwakarta, which is midway between Jakarta and Bandung. 

OK, I don't intend to bore you with another typical Bandung-trip story. Don't have plenty of spare time to write a lengthy posting. Just wanted to share some photos of mine taken at two special places in Bandung and in Cimahi (outskirt of Bandung).

Masjid Raya Bandung (below pic) is Bandung's central mosque. The mosque is indeed inviting and visitor-friendly not just for adults but also school children. Thanks to the huge compound in front of the mosque's entrance where kids could play joyfully and adults bask in Bandung's lovely climate. 


What you see is just one third of the field.
This mosque is arguably the one and only mosque in Asia that has got the biggest playground. 
I have had all kinds of pleasant moments in this chilly city, but one chance meeting (or rather a fated encounter) at Masjid Raya Bandung shall remain the best highlight of my trip. I think that's the beauty of brotherhood in Islam. It's wonderful to have an old pious-looking woman, not only greet you but unexpectedly hug you, kiss you and make a lengthy duá for you, voluntarily. She's old and looked a little frail, yet energetic enough to travel from Cimahi to Masjid Raya Bandung, to pray and attend a class, twice a week. She's a senior tholabul ilmi (seeker of knowledge). She exuded a brilliant aura, almost angelical in her speech and demeanor. MashaAllah tabarakallah. Pray we will meet again someday. Ameen. When that happens, let's call it a miracle because I doubt I got her address correctly, due to her heavy Indonesian accent. We shall see.

Another unique discovery was a minimalist yet extraordinary mosque near Cimahi: Masjid Al-Irshad Satya at Kota Baru Parahyangan. 

We are all used to seeing/visiting elaborate mosques in all corners of the world. But I must say Masjid Al-Irshad is in a different league as far as mosque architecture is concerned. Imagine the imam leading prayers facing a fish pond that overlooks to the farthest horizon beyond a specially crafted Allah-globe, reminding a worshiper of the aim of his/her worship. 

The unconventional open air mihrab at Masjid Al-Irshad Satya,
Kota Baru Parahyangan, Indonesia.
I vote Masjid Al-Irshad as the most Zen-like mosque
in the whole wide world!
The perimeter walls of the simple square mosque are specially constructed depicting the kalimah La ilaha illallah. And the ceiling lights that you see in below photo are actually 99 Names of Allah. Each light has got a carving of each of the 99 Asmaul Husna. I wish I had taken a better shot of the lights. Anyhow, it's evident that this mosque is one of a kind.

Notice how the building is "wrapped" with La ila ha illAllah.
99 Asmaul Husna ceiling lights adorn Masjid Al-Irshad, Indonesia.
Notice that glorious flood of natural lights
coming through the "open-air mihrab".
It takes a graceful soul to design such an elegant mosque.
Kudos to the architect and all the craftsmen involved in its construction. 
OK folks until the next posting, wish you all a stress-free and productive Monday. I cherish spending Monday far...far... away from my office. LOL.

Alhamdulillahi hamdan yuwafi ni'amahu 
wa yukafi u mazidah.

p/s
Next stops: Surabaya and Jakarta InshaAllah

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Live for the moments | Spend it on yourself

Bismillah.

Oftentimes we wish the dust would settle sooner, especially when things are looking pretty confusing. Even if it seems like the Trump-et has been blown and all orderliness is at stake, we have to keep calm. Yes, keep calm, vote better next time. LOL! 



But, are we strong enough to laugh at the confusion? Perhaps to laugh at a thing needs no good reason, nor justifications. Laugh it off, they say.

It's the weekend, one more sober November weekend, Alhamdulillah. Let's live for the moments. Spend the moment on yourself. Spend it with love, doing things you love.

When my Quran teacher noticed a sketch of Shaykh Ninowy in my living room, he asked: "Are you a murid of the Shaykh?"
LOL. I wished! But I am just a follower, an admirer.

Here's a quote of the Shaykh whose wisdom consistently awakens a sleepy soul like mine.
"Time is precious. Spend it on yourself, improving and elevating it to get into Paradise, rather than wasting time proving others will go to Hell."
- Shaykh Muhammad An-Ninowy

So c'mon, let's go kaizen, continuously improve ourselves with the tawfiq from Allah, bi iznillah.    

I'll be doing Surah An Naziát in my next Quran lesson InshaAllah.
I did some homework, one lesson therein is about the inevitable day.

"On the day when the first trump resounds. And the second follows it. On that day hearts beat painfully. While eyes are downcast..."    
(Quran 79:6-9)

Yauma tarjufur ra jifah
On the day when the first trump resounds

Yes on that day, we'd be dead worried if we could make it to Paradise, we can't be bothered if this fulan or that fulan will go to Hell.

***
Wish you a productive and pleasant weekend.
Love forever,
E

#All Things Fall Into Place
#Ku Harap Kita Kan Selamanya Cinta
#Surihati___
#Eternal Love
: D

p/s
I think the U.S. has just seen a yauma tarjufur ra jifah kinda day.
May Allah protect us and improve our affairs no matter where we are, all of us especially our friends in the US.


Friday, November 11, 2016

One-on-one on The One | Has He not?

Bismillah.

Praise be to Allah. Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah my Quran teacher turned up for our first lesson despite the bad weather. I'm still feeling excited - like a small girl being gifted with a chocolate sundae. LOL. 

It was decades since I last sat before a Quran teacher. Folks, it's never too late to get an expert to check on your recitations. 

I'm super excited about my one-on-one Quran lesson tonight. My teacher is a lot younger than me. He is unique because he is a science graduate from abroad and yet is skillful enough to be a certified Quran teacher. OK go ahead google him but please don't stalk him!

I can't wait for our next class. But it's 00:02 it's time to sleep.
Verse number 9 of Surah An Naba (the chosen surah for my first lesson) - it says:
Wa ja al na nau makum suba ta
"And made your sleep for rest"

In this chapter entitled The Tidings, Allah asks us among others:
"Have We not made....your sleep for rest?"

Please correct me if I am wrong, I reckoned Allah asks us (at the outset of The Tidings) about 10 things which He has created.

1. Have we not made the earth a cradle?
2. And the mountains pegs?
3. And created you in pairs?
4. And made your sleep for rest?
5. And made the night a cloak?
6. And made the day for livelihood?
7. And built above you seven mighty ones?
8. And set a radiant lamp?
9. And sent down from the rain clouds cascading water? That with it, We may bring forth grains and plants.
10. And gardens of intertwining foliage?

Gosh, has He not?
Allah Al Bari'
Allah Al Khaliq

***
Good nite all.


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Definiteness of purpose | Fly there

Bismillah.

Gotta have this line here. 
It's a timely reminder especially for me (and perchance you too). It's a wonderful feeling to fly towards one's purpose with a solid intention and strong determination.  It's a wonderful feeling and we say thanks to the Almighty, for making things work well, it's like the universe is plotting to assist you. Subhanallah!


"Trust in Allah Taála. He won't just open closed doors, but create doors that didn't exist, and open them for you."
- Shaykh Ninowy

***

Can't wait to fly again soon InshaAllah, to seek knowledge and spend some quality time with my loved ones. Allah is indeed Generous, I was planning for a similar trip early next year, but He brings it forward and He has added an unexpected bonus too.

2016 started good and it's looking like a great wrap-up bi iznillah. I pray Allah would be kind and generous on you too my dear readers, you know who you are. Let us all do loads and loads of salawat and let Allah handle our affairs in the best of manners. I am more convinced now that it's a ticket to ultimate felicity.

Allahumma salli ala Sayyidina Muhammad
solatan tuwas si u biha alainal arzak

p/s
To all my No. 1, 2, 3...supporters - I love you for the sake of Allah.
 : )


Saturday, November 5, 2016

Habib Umar bin Hafiz on the importance of salawat

Bismillah.

A friend forwarded me an audio recording of Habib Umar's tausiyah at Masjid Sultan, Singapore on 2nd November 2016. Alhamdulillah. This is my attempt to transliterate Habib Umar's words as translated by Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin bin Hamid and Habib Jindan bin Novel - just the intro part though.

***
Praise be to Allah who will gather mankind on the Day of Resurrection - a day which will most definitely come to pass, an inevitable day. Allah is the Best Judge. For those who dispute on His judgments, let them know that the judgment which is in Allah's hand will decide on the things which they argue about. He is the best of judges and none can intervene with His ultimate judgment.

Whomever Allah has destined safety and blissfulness, the person will experience safety and blissfulness for eternity. Whomever Allah has destined wretchedness and disaster, will be in such a state forever. When the time comes for Allah to make His judgments, all other prior judgments that used to prevail will become obsolete and nullified. Pray so that Allah will guide us and grant us His redha (mercy) and that Allah will decide to let us enter the Heavens. We must strive and pray for Allah to choose a good outcome for us, among those who stand firm on the covenant of la ilaha illaallah Muhammad Rasulallah. May we die in such a state.

Those who wish to realize the haqiqah (reality) of the kalimah which Allah has awarded to us, must make an effort to recite plenty of salawat. There's a hadith about Allah rewarding us with 10 salawat in  exchange of one salawat we make. And another hadith by Imam Tirmidhi about those who will be the closest to the Prophet, yaqni those who make the most number of salawat for him salallah alaihi wasalam. This is a belief held by ahlul sunnah wal jamaah. Their shiár (trademark) is by making lots and lots of salawat be it in group or individually, in public or in private. 

There's a hadith about Sayyidina Kaab asking the Prophet about the quantity of salawat he should make. When Sayydina Kaab told Rasulallah he would allocate one third of his time for salawat, the Prophet replied: "Good but if you could do more, then that would be better for you". Sayyidina Kaab responded saying he would spend half of his time to make salawat. The Prophet replied: "It's up to you but if you were to do more then that would be better." If that's the case, Sayyidina Kaab said "two third" and Prophet replied with the same answer until Sayyidna Kaab said he would utilize all of his time to make salawat.

Those who dedicate their time to offer loads of salawat for the Prophet will be forgiven by Allah and Allah will manage all his/her concerns. If Allah protects/preserves a person from his/her problems, now what else is there that could bother him/her? If all his/her wrongdoings have been forgiven by Allah, then there's nothing left to be accounted for in the hereafter. O Allah, protect us from our troubles, and forgive us. We ask You O Allah that You make salawat on our behalf for the Prophet, with the most grand of salawat, deliver it from us, for Rasulallah, his companions, his followers and those who love him. To his forefathers who were among the prophets, their families and their companions; and to all who are close to You among the solehin; and place us among them O Allah with the blessings of the salawat.

[Ameen]

Habib Umar bin Hafiz during his visit to Baálwie Mosque in Singapore
[Pic credit: A friend who got this from a WA group. ]
I've got no clue as to whom the pic credit should really go to
but we are grateful for this sharing, aren't we?
To see such beautiful serene countenance of genuine descendants 
of the Prophet salallah alaihi wasalam
who consistently display good akhlak and utter words of wisdom
that gladden our hearts. 
True descendants of Rasulallah they are, not just in name. 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Gladden a heart | Let the Angels reply

Bismillah.

Of course we are all glad by the presence of a scholar like Habib Umar bin Hafiz. No wait, there's no one quite like him. He is who he is. Very special. The aura from his presence gladdens one's heart. The pearls from his speech gladden one's soul.

Habib Umar bin Hafiz gave a tausiyah at Masjid Sultan on 2nd November 2016. Some of you might have attended the event or read about it from Muslimbuzz.sg
If you haven't read, then please go ahead and click on the link.

I wonder what remarks Habib Jindan made that caused Habib Umar to crack such a sweet smile. We gotta say thanks to the photographer for sharing this beautiful moment. Just looking at this photo gladdens my heart!

  
I read the notes from Habib Umar's tausiyah at Masjid Sultan that if we gladden a Muslim's heart, Allah will create an angel to ask for his forgiveness until the Day of Judgment. The angel will accompany this person in the grave and all the way until he gets to the Heavens.

How cool!
[Now will someone say something sweet to me or get me a nice gift to gladden my heart? LOL]

I also learned from Habib Umar's tausiyah about the Angels doing this one important thing for us on our behalf when someone insults us. Indeed it's great to have the Angels do it on our behalf.

"Rasulallah salallah alaihi wasalam sat and watched the patience of Sayyidina Abu Bakar as someone insulted him over and over. Sayyidina  Abu Bakar kept silent until a certain point when he responded. As soon as he did, Rasulallah stood up and left. Seeing this, Sayyidina Abu Bakar ran after him and said: Ya Rasulallah are you disappointed? Didn't you see how he kept insulting me whereas I replied only once? Rasulallah said: When you kept silent, I saw the angels come near and replied to his insults on your behalf. But when you responded, the angels left and syaitan came instead. And I do not sit where syaitan is present."

This is something we must try hard to remember because it's not easy to refrain ourselves when we are angered. Best to let the angels be our "spokesperson" because surely they are more eloquent and brilliant in their replies.


  

Click on this link to read a transcript of Habib Umar's tausiyah at Masjid Sultan on 2nd November 2016.

Until then.
Peace!

p/s
Go on, gladden someone's heart today : )



Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Remember | November

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.

We have come to the 1st of November. Praise be to Allah for giving us life up until this day. Always remember to pray: 
Allahumma tawwil umurana. 
"O Allah give us a long life."

So that we may remember Him, our Creator, always as we sit, stand, walk and lie down.
So that we may make duá to Him because we learn from Ibn Athaillah's words of wisdom that "When Allah inspires your tongue to ask, know that He wants to give."

O Allah, give us a long life so that we may engage in beneficial activities that are pleasing to You.

O Allah, give us a long life so that we may contemplate upon You and know You better each day of our life. So that we may grow to love You and thus we do not fear death. How can we fear death when it is You who wait for us on the other side?

O Allah, give us a long life, so that we may witness Your Beauty on the horizon each moment, for we know You are Unique and You manifest Yourself differently endlessly. 

"Kulla yawmin huwa fi shan."
"The glory of each day is different."


"Every day He is upon some matter."
"Every day He manifests Himself in yet another [wondrous] way."
Sadaqallah al Azim
[Syuruk @ KL two days ago]
And yet some people commented about me posting "the same photos of KL cityscape" too often. Oh well, I see the truth of the qalam we just quoted. That "Every day in new splendor does He shine."

Each day this November, I pray Allah will manifest Himself in a wondrous way for you and me so that all afflictions will be lifted, that all pain and sickness will be cured, that all needs will be fulfilled, that all sorrows will be replaced with abundant joy! Ameen.














p/s
It's my blog, I can have my photo in each and every posting if I wanted to. 
: P
It's my blog, I can post whatever photos I like.
: P