Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Ahliz zikri | People with knowledge

Bismillah.

A reminder from my Quran teacher when we came to verse 7 of Surah Anbiya. He said:

"Always refer to people with knowledge. We must do something based on firm knowledge and certainty, and not based on assumption. Therefore, we have to refer to ahliz zikri." 

"Fas alu ahlaz zikri. Refer to people who possess the right knowledge. We don't know how to fix the car's AC, so we have to refer to the car specialist. We are not sure what medication to take, we must refer to the GP."

***
Oh sure, I must thank Allah and pray for the long list of ahliz zikri who have assisted me in many areas related to my projects, so that Allah grant them more knowledge and reward them with extraordinary bounties. Ameen.

Wa ma ar sal na qob laka 
illa rijalan nuhi ilaihim
fas aluu ahlaz zikri
in kuntum la taqlamun

Oh by the way, someone asked me for more information on Salawat Zaatiyah. If you are reading this, kindly refer to ahliz zikri, I am not one of them. I merely shared the salawat as taught to me by one shakyh and I did not get the chance to ask him for more background info of the salawat. And to all others who had asked me very specific/high level questions on matters of the religion, please know that I am not an ustazah. I am not an ahliz zikri. This place is for me to document my lessons. Sorry, I don't know much. Sorry to disappoint you.

: )





Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The benchmark of understanding, judgment and knowledge

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah, my Quran lesson has resumed after a short break. May Allah grant my ustaz and his family sihah wal afiah and much heavenly bounties. Ameen.

I have got to place my notes here for ease of reference because Ustaz has asked me to memorize Verse 79 of Surah Anbiya and make it a daily wirid. (Since I haven't. Those of you who have and who are "holier" than me, please kindly stop reading now and go mind your own business. LOL).

Yes, we ask for understanding from Allah, but what kind of understanding? What is the benchmark? So, now I know, the kind of understanding that Allah has granted to Prophet Sulaiman is what we should pray and ask from Allah. What kind of sound judgment and knowledge we should aim for? That which was given to Prophet Sulaiman and Daud. 

Fa fahimna Sulaiman
wa kullan aa taina
hukman wa 'il ma
wa sakh kharna ma 'ad Dawud
dal jiba la yusab bih na wat thoir
wa kunna fa 'ilin

To Sulaiman We inspired the (right) understanding,
to each (of them) We gave
judgment and knowledge,
it was Our power that made the hills and the birds
celebrate our praises,
with Dawud
it was We Who did (all these things).

***




I shall practise and benefit from verse 79 of Surah Anbiya, bi-iznillah and I rejoice thinking how much benefit I could get if some of you readers will memorize and practise it too. Thank God for compounded rewards : )

Monday, April 24, 2017

Allah bless the 15th King of Malaysia - Sultan Muhammad V | Ascension to the throne

Bismillah.



May we Malaysians benefit from the presence and prayers of our 15th King, well known for his piety, humility, distinguished education, active lifestyle and zest for life. Ameen.

The King has chosen today, an auspicious date associated with Israk Mikraj, as the day for the King's installation ceremony.

We are indeed grateful and delighted by His Majesty's ascension to the throne.

"Increase your knowledge and skills 
for there is no end to learning."
- Sultan Muhammad V
24 April 2017


Daulat Tuanku!












Proud to be a Malaysian : )



Sunday, April 23, 2017

Mikraj | Closing in

Bismillah.

On the eve of the day associated with Israk Mikraj, it might be good to reflect on our relationship with the Almighty, if indeed it's measured by "distance" then how far or close are we?

We have heard this question being posed by a couple of shuyukh. "Allah is close to you, but how close are you to Allah?"

I think the aim is to be continually conscious of His presence while He is continuously present and omni-present.

I remember a saying describing a person who is forgetful, that is one who is not in the state of making zikir (remembrance), is in fact a dead man. It's true, for how can a thing be alive if he/she is detached from Al Hay, due to forgetfulness and negligence. Perhaps, that's why we heard from the scholars about the importance of saying bismillah in any act that we are about to do, for only by saying bismillah, can we be connected with the blessings of Allah Ar Rahman Ar Rahim. That is one of the meanings of bi or ba in bismillah.

May Allah increase us in knowledge and makrifah and improve our akhlak.
Ameen.

May Allah continue to bless us in the remaining days of Rajab, bless us in Shaaban and grant us the opportunity to meet with Ramadhan. May Allah honor us with the capability to take full advantage of Ramadhan in the manner that will deliver us to safety and felicity in this world and in the hereafter. Ameen.

From Surah Qaf, verse no. 6.
May Allah be kind and compassionate and protect our faith
from any cracks that could increase the rifts between us and Him.
May our faith be completely sealed and fully cemented
so there is not even a tiny space
for shirik and kufur.
Ameen.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Lights of love

Bismillah.

If and/or when my mother is happy, I am happy : )

I just can't get enough of my new fave lepak (hang out) place at my Penang home in Gelugor. Did you (referring to Malaysians) know that Gelugor is one of earliest Muslim settlements in Penang? The first or the earliest settlement might have been Datuk Keramat circa 1700 and then Batu Uban (neighbor of Gelugor) in 1734 and then possibly Gelugor in 1749. Jelutong is another location of one of the early settlements but I'm not sure of the exact sequence. Datuk Keramat was a sufi from Acheh who was known to seclude for long periods of time along Pinang River. He was well known for his miraculous powers, hence the name "Keramat" or karamah.

The person who founded Batu Uban, Haji Muhammad Saleh was also a pious sufi from Indonesia (Paya Kumbu/ Sumatera). His piety had attracted many scholars, knowledge seekers and aspirants to Batu Uban including those from Arabia (Mekah and Yemen). Even the Sultan of Kedah came to learn from him. He was not only a scholar, he was a capable seafarer, merchant and plantation manager. Batu Uban used to be a port that attracted many visitors before Penang Port became big and popular. 

Datuk Jannatun who established possibly the third earliest Muslim settlement in Penang, in Gelugor in 1749 (my village) was also a pious man from Sumatera. Haji Muhammad Saleh and Datuk Jannatun were buddies. I have mentioned it before and I will mention it again, Yusof Ishak, the first president of Singapore is a descendant of Datuk Jannatun. I think anyone associated with Datuk Jannatun, the Gelugorians I mean, they are a special breed: D 

If you doubt what I said then go read up history books related to Penang, if you've got the time and interest. And please don't mess with us Gelugorians or I will call upon my Sufi forefathers and make them knock some sense on your head! LOL. 

The photo below is not related to the context of what I just wrote. Who cares? LOL. It's here on this space of mine cos I am happy to marvel at it knowing that my mother is happy at home in Gelugor. Alhamdulillah.



I think I am kinda smart because my mother Mazenah is smart.
Heh heh...
Thank you Allah for my mother.
She emits lights of love.


Ref: 
Early History of Penang - edited by Muhammad Haji Saleh/USM 
Batu Uban: Sejarah Awal Pulau Pinang - by Ahmad Murad Merican
The Chulia in Penang - by Khoo Salma Nasution

Friday, April 21, 2017

Progressive | A thousand ways to kneel

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah for a super productive Friday.
Wa ma tawfiqi illa billah.
And my success comes only from Allah.

It's 2.47 a.m Saturday actually, it's raining so I pray Allahumma sayyiban nafi'a. May Allah pour more good stuffs in my life, my family, friends and you genuine readers of this blog. You know who you are : )

Wish you a pleasant weekend. I am winding down after a marathon of reading, thinking and writing. Praise be to God, it feels good to end a hectic day with this heart-warming view of good progress taking place at my kampung home. Alhamdulillah for the joy of having a kampung.

This man seemed very focused on his craft. It reminds me of an oft-quoted saying by Rumi:
"Let the beauty of what you love, 
be what you do. 
There are a thousand ways to kneel 
and kiss the earth."

Kneeling to finish up work for "Ablution Area"
so that my honorable guests could kneel and praise the Lord with purity and humility, soon bi iznillah.
Alhamdulillahi hamdan yuwafi ni amahu wa yukafi u mazidah

May Allah grant us more for each of His blessings that we proclaim.
"And as for the bounties of your Lord, do proclaim."
- Quran 93-11
  

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Friday eve | Elevate the Words of Allah

Bismillah.

Maghrib on the eve of Friday, as we all know, is the beginning of auspicious times. It's good to be sensitive about how we use each hour of the blessed times. It's time to read Surah Al Kahfi or any sacred Words of His that one can afford to read.

Let's choose to spend the time to elevate the Words of Allah, for that would be better than to "elevate" or raise one's voice for any other reasons. We are asked to beautify our voice when we recite the Quran. How beautiful a reminder is that? For one's voice cannot possibly be beautiful when it's at a high pitch in a quarrel.  

Tonight, I realized I have begun to miss reading the Quran with my coach, as our lessons have to be postponed. I think you could say a teacher is good at its craft and sincere at that when the student begins to yearn for knowledge and progress. And in the case of Quran recital, its melody, its rhythm, its aura and its nur.

May Allah keep us pure and grant us the tawfik to continually enliven our homes with the sacred sounds of the Holy Book. Ameen.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Bring your own sunshine

Bismillah.

A.J D'Angelo

KL has been experiencing a spate of bad weather. But a positive person carries her/his own sunshine no matter what the weather.

Therefore,  always stay sunny emotionally and spiritually : )

I need to go back to reading all the required reading materials for my project. May Allah ease my task and grant me success and I wish you the same. You - the genuine sincere readers who are not here to check on me with negative intentions.

But then...
"A wise man gets more use from his enemies, than a fool from his friends."
- B Gracian (1601-1658)

LOL.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Get a life | Stay sane

Bismillah.

A lil bird told me a lonely woman (a spy-reader) has been combing my blog postings from the previous years checking my photos. Photos of me and my homes. I might have inadvertently made some men fall for me. LOL. Now, do I have a woman having a crush on me? LOL. 

I guess there are many sick people out there who got nothing better to do, despite having a handful of grandchildren already. I can imagine these people being sane only for a couple of days in a week and on other days they could go berserk, shouting, making drama as if they feed on it. I can imagine them staying up to spy on people and then miss their subuh. LOL.

May Allah protect us from having such mental/heart disease. We ought to thank Allah for the good things we have. And for NOT having the negative things that plagued some people. But we must thank these people for showing us who we do NOT want to be.

Says: Gina Carey

"Beware of the insight (firasah) of the believer. Verily, he sees with the light of Allah."
- Hadith At Tirmidhi


Monday, April 17, 2017

Beautiful souls

Bismillah.

My mother will always remain sweet seventeen in my heart, my mind, my eyes. I just have to record this day 17 April 2017 cos I made my mother elated by this custom made blinds. Alhamdulillah. I am not a perfect daughter but I think I deserve to go to heaven for making her pleased with this sweet gesture today. LOL. Pray, Allah makes us belong among obedient children. Ameen.

The house kitchen has always been my happy place.
May Allah bless my mother Mazenah abundantly for she never tires of cooking and feeding her children.
I can proudly say and I say with much gratitude that I grew up on home cooked meals. Alhamdulillah. 

I wish the craftsman for the blinds, Uncle Ah Ming, all the very best in life. He is such a nice Hokkien gentleman who simply wowed me and my mother with his politeness. He is the owner of the shop who had to do the artwork by himself cos the expert to whom he outsourced the stencil/coloring refused to handle the job as promised.

This is the "before photo". I can imagine Uncle Ah Ming looking down feeling hopeless and worried that he had to stand in for the so-called expert who turned him down. But I guess only a beautiful soul like him could deliver it with love.




Today is also the birthday of two best buddies of mine, Hajjah N and Hajjah Z. [Gosh, when will I be Hajjah E?] LOL. I wish them the best of blessings and bounties from Allah. They deserve the best life has to offer. I shall forever be thankful to them for thinking well of me and accepting me for who I am, despite my shortcomings. 

We must thank Allah for all the beautiful souls around us for they make the world a better place.




Sunday, April 16, 2017

Turtle with a briefcase, on Sunday

Bismillah.

Hi folks, good morning!
Hope you managed to beat the rooster at pre-dawn this morning. I did. Alhamdulillah.

I may have beaten the rooster, but I am feeling like a turtle LOL. A turtle with a briefcase going to work on Sunday.




Just a quick hello, touch and go posting as I have got tons of reading, thinking and writing to do. Here's one motivational quote to psych up myself.

"We each know how good we have become but none of us knows how good we can be. One of the most exciting opportunities we get each day is to pursue our potential."
- Mark Sanborn



"The secret to getting ahead is getting started."
- Mark Twain

p/s
Gosh, someone thought all the positive principles I professed (quoted, actually) are just "idle talk" cos I don't practise what I preach. LOL. How silly. Did I come across as a preacher? Guess some people don't believe in/don't need positive affirmations. Good for them.

We do what's good for ourselves and never mind them.


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Vision vs Mood

Bismillah.

I love following positive people on Twitter. Of course, these motivators, successful biz owners, authors, speakers, leadership gurus, life coach, religious scholars, may not be perfect. No one is and no one expects them to be. I like them as they motivate others with positive words every day. 

Here's one by Steve Gutzler:



Thank God for blogosphere so that weaklings like me can document and journal some of these cool stuff to remind myself, first and foremost. If you think I am preaching here then you are so wrong!

Wish y'all a productive and pleasant Saturday.

"Hold the vision.
Trust the process."

Friday, April 14, 2017

TGIF | It's your road

Bismillah.

Thank God It's Friday.

I say TGIF while feeling a lil nervous thinking about the amount of thinking, reading, and writing I have to do this weekend, for one important project at hand.

When the stress level is up it's hard to even smile, even though they say, a smile is a curve that sets everything straight. LOL.

Here's a poster I created to motivate myself. 




A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.
Yes, I agree but sometimes money can set many things straight.
Cos you can buy all the scarves and clothes you like. LOL.
"Whoever said money can't buy happiness, simply didn't know where to go shopping." - Bo Derek
"Money can't buy happiness, but it can make you awfully comfortable while you're being miserable." - Claire B. Luce
: )

But, Napoleon Hill says:
"Happiness is found in doing, not merely possessing."
Yes, do some shopping.

LOL. I'd better sign-off now.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Educated mind | Beautiful mind

Bismillah.

Now I know why Aristotle is who he is. I am reluctant to say "was" cos he seems to be very relevant and true in this saying below. You know there are plenty of definitions for a person being "clever", "educated" or "intelligent", but I thought Aristotle's definition of an educated mind is so damn on point!



How many thoughts do we entertain in a day, in an hour, or in a minute, for that matter? It can get incredibly overwhelming. So thank Allah we must, if He gives us the mental capability, the tawfik (strength) to master our thoughts, as in control which of the thoughts that we want to accept and which thoughts we want to kick out.

We must also thank Allah for giving us a beautiful mind that is able to appreciate the unique gifts He grant us, so we don't care to keep up with the Joneses [especially if the Joneses has got a poor taste LOL].

Seriously, we have to own our mind and be a master of our own thoughts. It doesn't matter if the Joneses like to compete/copy us. There will always be people who are envious because our grass is greener. But, it does not matter because our minds are for entertaining better, more meaningful and more pleasant thoughts.

I think that's why they say: "Beauty starts in your head, not in your mirror."

: )


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Mid Rejab Reflections

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.
We have come to mid-Rejab already.

May Allah continue to bless us in Rejab and the coming Shaaban. May Allah grant us the opportunity to welcome and thrive in Ramadan. Ameen.

I noticed the ever so beautiful full moon this morning. Glory be to Allah who orchestrates the night to leave and the day to enter in a smooth transition while a majority of the mortals take for granted this subtle divine show, day in day out.

The mortals are too pre-occupied "living" a life whilst being "dead" to the real life phenomenon unless we pause and take the time to reflect, recollect and realize who we are in the big divine scheme of things.

We often get sucked into the spiral of routine not so mindfully. We tend to pay attention to the petty. We have the tendency to entertain the noises. Oftentimes we let ourselves absorbed in the experiences and neglect our attention to our own Self. When we lose our attention to our own Self, we might become, sadly, completely lost. We run the risk of losing the true meaning of life, of existence, and of being.   

The often-quoted wise man, Rumi, says:




Full moon
Rejab 1438 H, at its peak.
Captured by yours truly at dawn.
May we not miss the whole point of BEING.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Faith 101 | Enter by the Gate of Truth and Honor

Bismillah.

Yeah...there are one hundred and one things to think about and do, these days. Yup, it's the 101st day of the year. I love counting the days this year somehow as I try to post some positive words on a daily basis, it's my own small weird way to make the days count, bi iznillah.

If you are familiar with the American education system, you'll know 101 is the course code used in American universities for any introductory courses meant for beginners e.g Psychology 101, Economics 101.  

What would constitute Faith 101 in regards to the Islamic teachings, lemme think? It must be an overview course of Fard al-Ain. I am not an ustazah, so don't take me seriously. LOL.

But in my opinion, the four verses I came across on page 290 of the Quran should be in "Faith 101". To be frank, I am being "selfish" here as I purposely create this posting to remind myself of some important takeaway from my Quran Recital Lesson last night. I have reached Surah Maryam in Part 16, by the way, YaHuuu! [And some of the critics thought I was a hopeless Muslim. Should I be bothered by their remarks or should I accept the compliments from my Quran teacher? LOL.]

Yes, verse 78, 79, 80 and 81 of Surah Al-Isra' should be emphasized in a "101" introductory course and not be regarded as some kind of advanced skill that only the experts or the brave should attempt.
  
78. Establish regular prayers at the sun's decline till the darkness of the night, and the morning prayer and reading: for the prayer and reading in the morning carry their testimony.

79. And pray in the small watches of the morning (it would be) an additional prayer (or spiritual profit) for thee: soon will thy Lord raise thee to a Station of Praise and Glory.

80. Say: "O my Lord! Let my entry be by the Gate of Truth and Honor, and likewise my exit by the Gate of Truth and Honor, and grant me from Thy Presence an authority to aid (me)."

81. And say: "Truth has (now) arrived and falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish.

***

Of course, many of you readers who are "advanced Muslims" are familiar with Tahajud prayers and the recommended du'a.

Personally, for me, I got excited at "meeting" verse 81 of Surah Al Isra last nightbecause it's one of my FQA - frequently quoted ayah. [Ayah = a verse of the Quran].

And my FAQ to myself lately is: would I be able to finish the Quran lesson before Ramadan? LOL. Two lessons a week, sometimes just one lesson when ustaz/I have to be away. Read/learn about one juzuk per lesson, there are about 7 weeks to go before Ramadan. Gosh, the race is on!

Ahh...some of the spy-readers of this blog might be thinking at this very moment: "Eza is bragging about the seemingly good things she does." 

Walt Whitman (1819-1892), an American poet/essayist/journalist/humanist says:




Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.
: D

p/s
Chances are, today, I beat the spy-readers and the roosters at pre-dawnLet's compete again tomorrow - fastabiqul khairat!

Salam Subuh!
May we enter the day by the gate of truth and honor.



Monday, April 10, 2017

The 100th day

Bismillah.

No...no...way we should let this 100th day pass without reflecting on the 100 days that have passed us by this year. Passed they did so quickly.

Alhamdulillah, we should say thanks for each day of our life for we know not which day is our last day.

The company where I work 9-to-5 has got a new management team. They have done pretty well and gave everyone a small token for the good results achieved in their first 100 days. It's a team effort of course, but it's good that they were specific in the things they were planning/hoping to achieve in the first 100 days.  




What good have I done in the last 100 days? What about you?

We might have excelled and created some wonderful memories, but, past is past, we should not dwell too long on the past.

Wise men say: "Do not let your memories be greater than your dreams."

: )

Wish y'all a pleasant and productive week ahead.
Dream bigger than those big memories.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Happy Sunday from George Town

Bismillah.

Hi folks, wish you all a happy Sunday.

Just a quick hello as I wait for my ride back to KL.

This morning I had the privilege of chatting with my mother's old friend, and my sister's senior in school who is a politician and chairman of the mosque committee at Masjid Melayu Lebuh Acheh (a.k.a the Acheen Street Mosque was built in 1808.) According to the chairman Datuk Mujahid, they are raising funds to change the mosque carpet as preparation for Ramadan. A sum of RM20K is required for it and what's more exciting is the fundraising to refurbish the Maqam of Tengku Syed Hussein Al-Aidid. There will be a garden with a lovely canopy at the maqam area. It will cost about RM300K. 

I am pretty sure the funds will come rolling in quick because Allah is fair and generous. The late Tengku Syed Hussein Al-Adid was one pious and wealthy merchant from Aceh, Indonesia who migrated to Penang in the 18th century (in 1792 to be exact) and opened a thriving Muslim community both in material and spiritual terms. He was so rich that he could afford to loan the British with some 80,000 Spanish Dollars!

I heard this from Cikgu Mohamed the unofficial go-to historian for anyone who needs to know more about the rich past of the Muslim community at Acheen (Acheh) Street in George Town Penang.
Cikgu Mohamed and his father Yahya
studied at Penang Free School (Malaysia's oldest school established in 1816. It's the first English-medium school in Southeast Asia)

If you are a local Malay or Jawi Peranakan or a tourist, a good place to have scrumptious meals after paying a visit at the Acheh Street Malay Mosque [or wandering about the World Heritage site in George Town] is, of course, the Jawi House Cafe at No.85 Armenian Street which is a mere 5 minutes walk from the mosque.

Alhamdulillah for another beautiful day 😄

One of the lovely things to buy on Armenian Street is that cute plastic straw tote 😍


p/s
After having read the definition of Jawi Peranakan as given by the owner of the Jawi House Cafe - Datuk Dr Wazir Khan who is an anthropologist/researcher/author, I am inclined to believe that I am a Jawi Peranakan - a modernist Muslim 😂





Saturday, April 8, 2017

Historical Penang | His-Story

Bismillah.

My mother and I attended a forum at the Penang Institute, aimed to create awareness on the history and biodiversity at Jerejak island, a small island to the southeast of Penang island. It's also known as the Alcatraz of Malaysia. The forum concluded with eight resolutions to be presented to the Penang state government in anticipation of the proposed development for Jerejak Island which many feared will cause much destruction to the island.

I was delighted to have met two historians/authors at the event and obtained their autographs. I think historians deserve a better recognition and attention from the society as compared to the celebrities in the entertainment industry. The former makes us think and reflect on useful knowledge whereas the latter provides infotainment at best.

History, in my opinion, is, in fact, His (the Almighty) story. It's about His af'al (actions) through time. It's about His manifestations through time. Thus, He is Time.

May Allah grant us the capacity to recognize His attributes and actions on the horizons and in ourselves.

Mike Gibby is author of 'Penang Hill: A Journey through time'
He is a British-born educator who has spent the majority of his life in Southeast Asia.


Khoo Salma Nasution is a Penang-born historian who authored a must-read publication (for Penangites especially) entitled 'The Chulia in Penang -- Patronage and Place-making Around the Kapitan Kling Mosque 1786-1957'

My mother and me with another participant at the forum held at the Penang Institute.
[Smart girls attend eye-opening talks regardless of their age. Smart girls make ideas work 😉] 


Friday, April 7, 2017

Rainy Friday

Bismillah.

Allahumma sayyiban naafi'a.

I love it when it rains on Friday, and I am home chilling in Penang. Alhamdulillah it's just a super wonderful feeling.

"O Allah, let it be a fruitful rain."
[It's based on a hadith as narrated by Aisha. Whenever Prophet Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam saw the rain, he used to say: O Allah, let it be fruitful rain.]

We are encouraged to make plenty of du'a when it rains.
What's on your du'a list?

I pray for a tranquil heart.
I pray for qalbun saleem.
I pray Allah grant me strength to protect my heart and mind from negative external influences.
I pray Allah grant me strength to multiply my ibadah and make me sincere at it.
I pray Allah facilitate and grant meaningful success to all my endeavors.
I pray Allah grant sihah wal afiah and a long happy life to my mother so I will have the opportunity to be an obedient daughter for the longest time.
I pray so that Allah always make me remain thankful and grateful for all the blessings and gifts that I have, while I have them.
I pray so that those people who are sincere and kind towards me (in their thoughts/words/actions) will be given the best rewards now in this dunya and in the hereafter, that all their needs will be met, their affairs will be eased, that they will enjoy very good health and spend their life meaningfully and happily.

Ameen Allahumma Ameen.
: )



Thursday, April 6, 2017

TGIT | Tag happiness

Bismillah.

Thank God It's Thursday - TGIT.

Yes, go tag it.

Alhamdulillah it's weekend already, for me.

Happy and grateful to come home to my new mini waterfall in my backyard in Penang. Allah Kareem. I waited so...long for it. He gives when He wills.

Why are we all attracted to water? It's obvious, cos we spent our early life swimming in our mother's belly. LOL.

Take it easy folks, chill, don't burden your heart and mind with irrelevant issues. Enjoy life. They say: "Life is too short. You've really got no time to be anything other than happy."

I agree. Tag happiness, always.
  


We should be like flowing water, it doesn't care too much about the spots, the bends it has passed.
It simply 
gushes forward positively,
having faith in its future path taking it all in its stride.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Mid-way | Middle path

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah, I am such a weak erring servant of Allah yet He is kind to guide my tongue and facilitate my reading of the Quran. With supervision and guidance from my Tajweed teacher, I have come halfway to the middle of the Holy Book, that is Juz/Part 15.

During lesson no. 28, tonight, the ustaz paused to emphasize the importance of being "in the middle" in reference to verse 29 of Surah Al Isra: "Do not keep your hand tied to your neck, nor extend it to the full extent, lest you should be sitting reproached empty handed." You all know this verse I am sure. It's about not being too stingy nor too generous.

Hmm...we all struggle to perform a balancing act between any two extremes, any, not just in relation to spending. I am a Libra, but I think Librans simply do not exist. LOL. I mean who could constantly strike a perfect balance? Continually, maybe. There must be a prize for those who could do it.




p/s
Maybe I should buy a scarf tomorrow, to reward myself for having reached Part 15.
: D

p/s
I hope you like all the posters I have created for this blog. My self-imposed KPI is to create fresh contents, find something good every day and say it. We will never have this day again, so make it count!


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Morning glory | Glorious morning

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah that Allah has given us the tawfik to be a morning person, to be an early bird who catches His wonderful gifts first thing in the morning. Because we are grateful for this, may He grant us a lot more as the sun rises and makes its journey to the West.


"It is He who made the sun to be a shining glory and the moon to be a light [of beauty]..." 
- Surah Yunus, 5

I am just happy and contented and have nothing much to say.

Ah...except that maybe one of my ambitions is: "to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book." LOL.

That's a quote by Friedrich Nietzsche. He is a German philosopher (1844-1900) and I'm pretty sure you know this one popular quote attributed to him: "That which does not kill us make us stronger."

OK folks, wish you a glorious morning, let's go out and seize the day. There are plenty of great stuff out there, waiting to be discovered and captured.


KL as captured by yours truly : )


Monday, April 3, 2017

Respect the old and the knowledgable | A morning with Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Dato Dr Khoo Kay Kim

Bismillah.

Yang tua dihormati
Yang muda disayangi

That's a Malay saying which is universally true.
It means: Respect the old. Love the young.

If you are a Malaysian, then you would surely know who Professor Emeritus Khoo Kay Kim is. Especially if you are one who appreciates history. If you don't know him, I dare say you know nothing about Malaysian history. LOL.

I sure have plenty of respect for Prof Khoo not just because of his age. Oh, he turned 80 just last week on the 28th of March! We all have great respect for him because he does not only teach us history, he makes us excited and appreciative of our own history.  

When Tan Sri saw my name card he remarked: Your name is unique, tell me about your background. At hearing my reply, he seemed reluctant to believe I was a Malay. LOL. But I have something in common with him, we are both from Penang. He was born in Perak actually but he considered himself from Penang because his parents and forefathers were from Penang. The Khoo clan is a Hokkien based in Penang ever since the seven Khoo brothers migrated from China to Penang in the late 18th century. According to Prof Khoo, the Hokkiens were mostly traders, therefore they would normally have settled in port cities throughout Malaysia. 


Let's not be a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree.
Let's continue to learn about history, learn from the past, and let's be cognizant of the history that is in the making - the present.

It was a historical day indeed to meet Tan Sri Khoo for the first time at this age of mine.

Thank God for a pleasant and fruitful morning.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Reading Singapore

Bismillah.

Wish you have had a wonderful weekend as I did.

I have been busy reading this engaging history book. I had first borrowed the book from the KL National Library and after perusing several pages I quickly phoned up Kinokuniya to reserve their only copy on the shelf. I guess what is meant to be ours will be ours by the grace of Allah. Alhamdulillah.

Singapore A Biography
by Mark R Frost and Yu-Mei Balasingamchow
Winner of the Asia Pacific Publishers Association Gold Medal 2010

I find it hard to put down this book which is arguably the most fascinating history book about Singapore. Unlike most history books, this one makes you excited and eager to read cover to cover. Five years from now, if I were to meet a Singaporean who has not read this book, I will say to him/her: shame on you! LOL. I am a Malaysian by the way. 

Why am I reading a history book on Singapore you might ask. It's because it is related to the history of one of the great AwliyaAllah in this region.

We are nobody compared to the great men of the past, suffice that we rejoice in the barakah of mentioning their name loudly or remembering them quietly in our hearts and minds.

Glory be to Allah for allowing the heart to connect with the unseen and the intangibles regardless of time and space continuum.

Wish you a pleasant and productive week ahead. May we spend time reading and increasing our knowledge. Choose to read beneficial materials and not forgetting the Holy Quran.

Rabbi zidni ilma war zuqni fahma.

p/s
Arghhh...blogging on the phone is driving me mad. No.....I have not forgotten you 😉

If you don't know history, then you don't know anything.
You are a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree.
- Michael Crichton

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Shaykh Muhammad Al-Ninowy on the meaning of "solah"

Bismillah.

Assalamualaikum folks.

It's the first day of April. Let's not be a fool, let's make plenty of salawat.

What does it really mean when we say Allahumma salli ala Sayyidina Muhammad?
What does it mean by Allah and the angels making solah (salutations and prayer) on the Prophet?

Many of us take for granted the meaning behind salawat.
In this video, which I am watching/listening as I am typing this posting, we get to learn from Shakyh Al-Ninowy, the meaning of a salawat.  

Solah takes its root from sod-lam-ya meaning du'a, it means calling upon, that means you are directing yourself (tawajjuh) towards Allah. 

Take a listen. May we benefit from this lesson. 
May we benefit from a knowledge that could transform us, instead of just amassing information.





A little funny "trivia" I picked up from this video:
Where is niyyah? If you were to send an email to niyyah, where do you think it would go? It has got to be:
niyyah@heart.com

LOL.
On a serious note, niyyah is not on the tongue, it's in the heart.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Befriend | What/who we do have

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah for all the wonderful people in our lives. We must thank Allah for guiding the hearts of selected people to be kind and friendly towards us.

Look at what I've gotten. It means a lot when a maestro you look up to, a role model, offer you such encouraging words.     

Hassan Muthalib dedicates this second book of his
for his parents who initiated the journey, his Sufi Master who made him understand the objectives of the journey, for his loved ones who were patient with his journey; and for his mentor, colleagues, friends, and students who made his journey worthwhile. 

Indeed, it's true for me too, my mentors and friends have made my journey worthwhile. It's what we do have that make us happy. Happiness, as they say, doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, it's about appreciating what and who we do have.     

March 2017 has been a very exciting and fulfilling month. Alhamdulillah. We have come to the last day of March. Believe it or not, it's the 90th day of the year, already.

May the winds of sakinah (tranquility) blow gently with the arrival of April.

May Allah bless us in this sacred month of Rejab. May He overlook our shortcomings and grant us the strength to keep trying. May He open the floodgates of blessings. May He give us the capacity to see and to have a strong certainty that He is in fact, the most loving and caring Friend we should befriend and keep company throughout our journey. He is the One whom we should have on top of our hearts.

Ameen.



Thursday, March 30, 2017

Returning to Allah in Rajab - Habib Umar bin Hafiz

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah, it's the second day of Rajab.

We talked about a person's voice in a piece of writing. When you read this article being the words of the honorable Habib Umar bin Hafiz during a kutbah in 2012, you will realize quickly the "voice" of the Habib - soft, soothing yet compelling. In my opinion, he is one of those rare people who could make a person gets up and take action just listening to his words, as in "sami'na wa athoqna".

Even though it's a text from his speech given four years ago, its weight, its relevance, the degree of motivation that comes with it despite its simplicity, remains unchanged. I just love everything about him, Habib Umar bin Hafiz, I'm sure I speak for many.

May Allah grant him a long life and may Allah bless those at Muwasala for their dedication and hard work to make available the Habib's lessons in the English language.

May we take some time to read and benefit. Bismillah...

May Allah let us have the pleasure of enjoying tranquil mornings (suhur/sehri) and the sweetness of saying istighfar in the stillness of pre-dawn.

Rejab Shahrul Mubarakah.

Photo credit: Muwasala


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Welcome Rejab | D.O.A

Bismillah.

O Allah, bless us in the month of Rejab and Shaaban and let us see the month of Ramadan.

This  du'a is almost like a password to enter the three sacred months. But the shuyukh are saying, it's not just about welcoming, it's about seeking for His forgiveness, and compassion and for Him to accept our repentance. 

Istighfar Rejab
To be recited 70 times after Solat Isha

Oh...it just occurred to me that prayer/supplication or du'a is more commonly spelled as doa in the Malay language.

D-O-A is a common term in my office (most big corporations) as it refers to "delegation of authority". I think that's precisely what we do when we make a du'a, when we supplicate to Allah, we are in fact delegating the matters at hand to the most rightful Authority. But then again, we have got no real authority, to begin with. LOL.

Still, delegate, we shall. We leave it all to Him. It's best to delegate or we might be asking for something which is not in line with His divine plans. We may be foolishly selfish in asking for a specific outcome, but Allah knows better of the big picture and our petition could well be out of the picture as far as His Divine Will is concerned. In admitting our helplessness, He would strengthen us with His might. 

Wama taqwfiqi illah billah.
May Allah grant us the tawfiq to perform sincerely, as much ibadah and amal in this month of Rejab. May He forgive our shortcomings. Ameen.

Remember Him and make du'a

   

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The way it's meant to be | A well rooted tree

Bismillah.

"We learn from every step we take. Whatever you did today was the way it was meant to be. Be proud of yourself." - says @KeepCalmTweets.

When we look at the past events, when we look back at history, we say that's how it was meant to be. I realize as I get older and more mature, I have become more appreciative of history than when I was young, living a carefree life and taking lots of things for granted.   

Today, it's destined that I spoke [by accident as fated by the Almighty], with one famous historian who wrote one of the history textbooks I studied in school! And he agreed to be interviewed OMG...lucky the first time. Alhamdulillah.

Anyway, it's 11ish, people, I have to be present here for a while, just a quick "touch and go" as I need to go back to reading a very interesting history book. 

"A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots." - Marcus Garvey

Let's be mindful and be appreciative of our roots. Let's be civilized and speak good words for Allah has given a parable for a good word, like a good tree whose root is firmly fixed and whose branches rise up into the sky/heaven. [Quran 14:24]

Current obsession - history.

Wish y'all a pleasant evening as we await the sacred month of Rejab, eagerly.

WaSalamualaikum warahmatullah.




Monday, March 27, 2017

Anta Wali | God bless all my Quran teachers

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.

May Allah bless the soul of my first Quran teacher. I called her Mummy. There were a couple of friends who could recite better than me but she favored me the most LOL. She would let me jump queue quite often, and this was her regular justification to the other students: "She needs to go quick, she's going home to study." I swear I did not bribe her. Never made such a request to her, no! LOL. May Allah place her soul among the Muqarabeen. Ameen.

I thought I dedicate this posting to Mummy cos tonight my Quran coach commended my ability to read many pages in one lesson. Alhamdulillah. Credit goes to Mummy and my late grandmother who played the role as Quran teacher whenever I balik kampung during school holidays. It feels good to reminisce our childhood memories, is it not?

God might soon answer my "secret wish" of wanting to inspire someone to hire a Quran coach, bi-iznillah. Someone has indicated her interest...I am so very....excited!



And this is one oft-quoted du'a I came across during my lesson tonight. It's from Surah Yusuf verse 101.

Anta waliyyi fid dunya wal akhirah
tawaffani musliman  wa alhiqni bis solehin 

"You are my protector in this world and in the Hereafter. Take Thou my soul as one submitting to Your will (as a Muslim) and unite me with the righteous."

Do well and make your teacher proud
: D

p/s
Some people secretly condemn me for posting so many photos of myself. LOL.
So what? I love myself and I am grateful for every single thing about Allah's manifestations on me. And this is my space!

Alhamdulillah for a greaaaatttt Monday!


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Voice of the heart | The story of His gifts

Bismillah.

"The message behind the words is the voice of the heart." - Rumi

We all heard it all too often from good authors/writing coach out there, that when we write, we have to find our own voice. And there, finally, I came across that so apt a saying by the incomparable poet and Sufi - Jalaluddin Rumi. So, the "voice" of a person's writing is in fact, the voice of the heart. It looks too obvious in hindsight. 

However, if the heart is cluttered, the voice that comes out from it won't be as clear as it should be. Thoughts and feelings that are harbored in the heart could corrupt the language that comes out as a person's voice. We speak as who we are and we are what we speak after all.

I was fortunate to have spent some quality time with my mentor today. He told a class of would-be artists, it's good to put down one's emotions/thoughts in writing. "When you become a writer, you become a thinker. And as a writer, you are going deeper into yourself." This mentor of mine, from my experience of attending his public talks, would always remind his audience of the importance of "knowing oneself" and he has never been apologetic about touching a bit on sufi-inclined subjects regardless of the audiences' spiritual/religious background.

***
Ah...it's getting late, to be honest, I am mentally drained after a long session of brainstorming, but it's a thumbs-up day nonetheless. Hope you have had a pleasant, productive Sunday full of gifts, as I did.
Alhamdulillah.


  
"Day and night you keep eagerly seeking stories, 
while every part of you is telling you the story of His gifts."
- Rumi

  👍👍

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Wake up with no regrets | Wake up with greater gratitude

Bismillah.

It's 11:59 Saturday 25th of March 2017. It's the 84th day of the year.

Alhamdulillah, of course I am in a happy mood cos it's pay-day. LOL.

Sweet dreams. It helps to think we are sleeping underneath the same big sky ; )



Good night from Kuala Lumpur.

Praise the Almighty
for this ever so inspiring view from my bed.
May Allah grant us more and more
for we are absolutely grateful for His compassion and generosities.
May we wake up with greater gratitude.


Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Khutbah by Dr Umar Faruq Abdullah - Friday 24th March 2017

Bismillah



We gotta say thanks to people who invest their own pocket money in order to bring us beneficial Islamic English contents LIVE or off-line, without us having to leave home [beneficial for us women especially].

Who among us shall win in the fierce competition of doing good deeds that are pleasing to Allah? Fastabiqul khairat! [Al Baqarah 1:48]

Jumaah Mubarrak!

In this Friday khutbah, Dr Umar Faruq talked about the tongue and speech.

Quote credit: @mindsetdev

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Do more [good] | Launch good

Bismillah.

Saw this encouraging tweet by @WomenOfHistory: "Do more for the world than it does for you."

I think generally, we are not doing enough. I personally think I am not doing enough. I definitely think I should do more than what the world does to me. There are lots of good stuffs sent by Allah to our doorstep day in day out, but we are not doing enough to give back as a sign of gratitude and appreciation.




I came across a somewhat relevant point. it's a hadith in which a smart woman asked Prophet Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam why there are more women than men who would end up in Hell. This is a hadith narrated by Muslim. The Prophet's reply: "Because you (women) like to condemn your husband and you are ungrateful for the good things they have done to you."

I think if we have a "do more" mentality, we would be more conscious about reciprocating a lot more instead of expecting more and more as if our wants and wishes are insatiable. If we have a "do more" attitude, we would not be too obsessed about asking for more and just wanting to receive a whole lot more. We won't be too selfish or self-centered.

The world has given me plenty of favors, Alhamdulillah, the least I could do is write something positive and send out a positive vibe. 

Allah has given us a good deen/faith, if we can't do more good, at least refrain from doing more harm.

p/s
Our prayers go out to the innocent victims of the London Westminster tragedy. "Whoever kills an innocent human being, it shall be as if he has killed all mankind..." Quran 5:32   

Support this noble initiative. Donate to support victims and their families:
https://www.launchgood.com/project/muslims_united_for_london#/