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#/




Wednesday, March 22, 2017

P. Ramlee (1929-1973) - Malaysia's Most Popular, Much-Loved, Multi-Talented and Spiritual Artist Of All Time

Bismillah.

He would be 88 years old today, 22nd of March 2017.

P. Ramlee is without a doubt, Malaysia's most popular, much-loved, multi-talented and spiritual artist of all time. He was born on 22nd March 1929 in Penang [where all the charming and wonderful people were born, like yours truly. LOL].

He died in 1973 at the age of 44, a mere 25 years after he began his career as an actor. He was 19 years old when he first started acting. He might have started out as an actor, but he died as a popular singer, songwriter, director, and film producer. 

That which he labored for 25 years (from age 19 until his passing at the age of 44) resulted in a handful of evergreen and much-cherished films, jokes and songs. It was as if he knew he would be irreplaceable, he wrote or rather gifted us Malaysians and Singaporeans with a beautiful love song - Di Mana Kan Ku Cari Ganti. [lit: Where would I find a person who could take your place.]  

I didn't regard P. Ramlee as a spiritual person until I heard it from a popular Malaysian dai'e Ustaz Don during a talk at my office. If I recalled correctly, Ustaz Don realized this to be true when he heard it from Dato Dr Afifi Al-Akiti - a highly regarded Malaysian scholar.

I also heard from Yusnor Ef who used to be close to the late P. Ramlee, how spiritual the latter was. I had the privilege of meeting Yusnor and listened to him relate lovingly the experiences he had with P. Ramlee, how he met the big star for the first time and how P. Ramlee agreed to teach him script-writing. When Yusnor narrated the way P. Ramlee spoke and carried himself, it was as if we were watching him in one of his films. It was mesmerizing and funny.

Yusnor Ef began learning script-writing from P. Ramlee in 1962 when the former was a teacher at a school in Tekong Island off Singapore. He would visit P. Ramlee's house at Cedar Avenue in Singapore after school. Yusnor Ef remembered P. Ramlee telling him how he would sometimes get stuck in his creative work, he would refer to God and would almost immediately recover his creative flow.   

Allahu a'lam.

   
Today, 22nd March 2017, Google honors P. Ramlee with a doodle




Yusnor Ef showed me a book he authored during my meeting with him about a month ago.
He also wrote a book about his experiences with P. Ramlee "P. Ramlee Yang Saya Kenal"
[P. Ramlee Whom I Knew]
"Music is food for the soul and it is a Universal Language. When a person is keen on arts and beauty, he/she should try to feel the presence of Allah in that beauty." -  Hamka (a renowned Sufi of Indonesia)
"Arts is one of Allah's work. Therefore, give your best with much honesty." - P. Ramlee
[As quoted in Yusnor Ef's book]


A cover version of P. Ramlee's (arguably) most popular song
Di Mana Kan Ku Cari Ganti
[Where would I find one who could replace you]

Excerpts of the lyrics:

Where would I find a person who could take your place
one who is similar to you
I dread this separation and broken feeling
restlessness...

Where would I find one who could replace you
Might it be in the Heavens
A friend who would share my pain
and cry together
forever


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Come close | "Transform ritual to spiritual" - Shaykh Dr Muhammad Al-Ninowy

Bismillah.

I know you can't spare half an hour or an hour to watch and listen. I know some of us are deaf, so someone needs to write for them to read and benefit. Some of you are like me - one who forgets what I hear easily, thus I have to write it, so that I could read it over and over.

In this video of a tausiyah by Shaykh Dr Muhammad bin Yahya Al-Ninowy as appeared on Umran TV English YouTube channel, the Shaykh said some key points as summarized below. 

Shaykh Ninowy said, if we love Prophet Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam, then it's Mawlid every day. The world needs more rahmah (mercy), when we see our surroundings as needing more rahmah that means we are in need of more Muhammadan message or rahmah. When we see people not manifesting rahmah, that means they need more rahmah. When we celebrate mawlidun Nabi we are not just celebrating the birth of a person, we are celebrating the genesis of unconditional rahmatan lil alamin. So we attend majlis mawlid to connect with people with whom we have a relationship with their ruh/souls, because we have a need for the Prophet to be in our hearts. We put in our hearts many things but we don't put in our hearts the nur of Prophet Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam. We need sirah of Prophet Muhammad to be in our homes, we need the remembrance of Prophet Muhammad to be with our children. We need the tranquility that comes with sirah of Prophet Muhhamad. The journey of Prophet Muhammad was to transform people from the rituals to spiritual. We don't just do sujud with our body. The point of solah is to have the heart sujud to Allah. Only then it would become a wholesome spiritual. The reason of sujud is to come close to Allah. The more we sujud the closer we get to Allah so that our batin is Rabbani and our zahir is Muhammadi. Our zahir (outer) and our batin (inner) must be aligned. We attend majlis zikir because our souls have a yearning, we need to rekindle our love and longing for Allah and His Rasul because our heart is dead with everything that concerns the dunya. The thing that illuminates the heart and revives the heart is not in the heart. Today, we talk, but we also need to walk the talk.









Monday, March 20, 2017

Equinox | Springboard

Bismillah.

Ahh...today March the 20th is the first day of Spring.

Happy Spring Equinox 2017!
It's happening today on the 79th day of 2017.
Alhamdulillah, Allah has blessed us with life up to this day.
He manifests Himself in the changing of seasons.



Let's use this Spring season to welcome a fresher fragrant new beginning. Don't let the burdens of the past season weigh us down.

"Use our past as a springboard instead of an anchor."
- Mark Sanborn  

Don't you think words that begin with the letter "e" sounds clever, like equinox, equilibrium, exquisite, enchanting...?

As ever,
-E-

May Allah do to us what Spring does with the cherry trees.
Ameen.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Carry on | Only carry a small carry-on of emotions

Bismillah.

I admit I am not a light traveler. I just have to over-pack and I am not apologetic about it. I think it's ok to over-pack as long as you stay within the baggage weight limit. Just that you won't have much spare room for new purchases at your destination. LOL.

But when it comes to emotional baggage, this is one piece of good advice from Tim Fargo.



The acceptable size for a carry-on luggage is 9 inch x 14 inch x 22 inch. So let's keep our emotions in check and don't carry too much of emotional baggage.

Whenever you feel like packing a lil bit more to what you may already have been carrying [we are talking emotions here], think again. Try to carry on with life, enjoy life a bit more without adding anymore emotional baggage cos some things are better left buried in the sand. Yes, bury it in the sand and go swim in the sea, that would be more fun : )

In case you need to check further. LOL.
http://travel-made-simple.com/carry-on-size-chart/


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Know your weaknesses

Bismillah.

Saw this encouraging Tweet by World Changing Woman: "I am strong because I know my weaknesses."

It's kinda paradoxical but it makes sense. I like it. Because knowing one's weaknesses is good, it makes you humble and more sensible as opposed to not knowing your weaknesses. When a person is not aware of his/her weaknesses, he/she might blindly consider his/her weaknesses as strengths and then foolishly acts upon a weak foundation. Worse still, she/he arrogantly acts upon her/his weaknesses out of ignorance and pride. It reminds me of an Arabic term I heard from one ustaz - jahil murakkab. It means, double stupidity.

When you know your weaknesses, you would likely consult and seek help from people who are strong in those areas which you lack. It's good to not just reflect but also acknowledge our weaknesses. 

I have a poor vocabulary. I didn't know what mangrove, vicarious or hive off were, but I was quick to admit that I just didn't know those words then. We all work on our weaknesses every day. I try to write in English every day even though I have an embarrassingly poor vocabulary and grammar. It's the only way to learn and become good/better at something. 

So, let's embrace our weaknesses and build on our strengths by taking baby steps every day. I am all for kaizen. I am sure you are too.

[kaizen = the practice of continuous improvement. It's a Japanese business philosophy/work ethics.]

Friday, March 17, 2017

Positive state of mind

Bismillah.

I was at a bathroom accessories shop and saw this poster below hanging amidst rows of taps and showers. LOL. According to the sales clerk, many customers couldn't resist snapping a photo of the catchy meaningful quotes. 



Only strong-minded people could block off the noises. It's mind over matter, no matter what.

Happy Friday folks : )

Cheers!
Take the moment you have and make it perfect.
[No matter what you hear.]

p/s
An angered and emotional person tried to disrupt my positive state of being today. I told him, as far as I am concerned, I can either be clever or emotional. They don't come together. You are either clever or you are emotional. When a person is emotional, he/she cannot possibly be clever. The opposite of clever is stupid, obviously. LOL. I choose to be clever : )
I don't care if the person near me chooses to be emotional and try to influence my state of mind. Gosh...yet people think women are more emotional than men. LOL.

So let's go back to the Chinese poster I saw at the bathroom accessories shop today:
"Let our state of mind always remain positive, no matter what we hear."

Remember: choose to be clever.
Keep a positive state of mind.
: )


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Al Basir | Best bold action | Pro-LASIK

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah...for one meaningful moment two nights ago while I was reciting the Quran during my 22nd Tajweed lesson, as I marched on to Part 11 of the Holy Book, I thought of Prof Dr Muhaya. Her words, her almost non-stop du'a when she was performing LASIK eye surgery on me three years ago, played back in my mind loud and clear. She said 'Your right eye is for reading the Quran and your left eye is for looking at the Kaabah.'

It's called blended vision, by the way, one eye is corrected for short-sightedness and the other for long-sightedness.

I pray for Allah to bless Prof Dr Muhaya abundantly for I am very grateful for my improved vision ever since I did the LASIK surgery. It's one of the best bold actions I have taken in my life, to be brave and quick in deciding to have the surgery. My honest blog posting on the experience has garnered 10,000 reads. 

I am grateful that I am relieved of the hassles associated with contact-lens. I could swim without worrying about contact-lens-malfunction under water. I could do without the special goggles that come with a "short-sighted lens". I remembered using these goggles when I was too lazy to wear contact-lens when going for a swim.

And, of course, as one who loves wearing sunglasses, having LASIK-ed eyes is an advantage I cherish. Who needs a special custom-made sunglasses for short-sighted? They go out of style pretty fast. No, thanks. 

So, once again, I encourage all of you who needs to correct your vision, to be bold and be quick in taking one action that will prove to be one of the best decisions you'll ever make - bi iznillah (with the permission of Allah).

Opt for LASIK. Go for it. Don't procrastinate.    

The joy of jumping into the pool with a clear vision,
no need special goggles, and forget about the discomfort/risk of swimming with contact lens
 #GodBlessProfDrMuhaya
She now performs eye surgeries at her very own Prof Muhaya Eye & LASIK Center (PMELC)
no more at Prince Court Medical Center

Posting I made in 2013 on my LASIK experience:
http://lisanaldin.blogspot.my/2013/08/my-beautiful-lasik-eye-surgery-carried.html  

Praise be to Allah Al Basir who sees to all our needs and fulfills them. Alhamdulillah for His Divine benevolence.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Who's leading? You [Me]

Bismillah.




Gosh...I am just excited about being a woman. LOL.

This woman is traveling and busy. Alhamdulillah but no matter how busy we are, we should never forget to take some time to appreciate all that we have succeeded and endured. Yes, endured!

Wish y'all a good day.
The weekend is here [for me] : )

WaSalamualaikum Warahmatullah.

[Credit: Chalene Johnson Twitter.]



Yes! And the prayers you recite.
And which salawat you say on repeat when you are a Musafir.

My all time faves are Salawat Fateh and Salawat Tafrijiyah.
Which one is yours?
Sallu alan Nabi.

p/s
I don't need an iPod when traveling.
Glad I am an "old school" in this regard.
LOL.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

If only we had been content | He will give us soon

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah, Allah made us sleep well, woke us up for Subuh, gave us tawfik to do some ibadah so we ought to say thanks to the Almighty who is Al Kareem, generous in His bounties. I am reminded of what Shaykh Al-Ninowy said about ehsan that is about performing solah seeing only Him, without even seeing ourselves or our own himmah (will power/strength) in doing so.

Alhamdulillah I thank Allah for this beautiful morning, for providing me good health, good food for breakfast and relaxing leisure time to blog - to remind myself one important takeaway from last night's Quran lesson, hopefully, it will benefit others too.

It's verse 59 of Surah At Tawbah.

Allah says: "If only they had been content with what Allah and His Messenger gave them and had said: 'Sufficient for us is Allah. Allah will give us from His bounty, and His Messenger will also give us. To Allah do we turn our hopes."


Verse 59 Surah At Tawbah

When someone says, "if only", it indicates their frustration, that they wished it was otherwise, they wished for a different outcome/situation that would have been better.

I think before the Almighty says "If only" to us, let's just say what He wished to hear.

"Sufficient for us is Allah.
Allah will soon confer on us His bounty
and so will His Messenger.
Indeed we are inclined to Allah alone."
[Translation by: Muhammad Tahir al-Qadri from altafsir.com]

"Sufficient unto us is God! God and His Apostle will soon give us His bounty; to God do we turn our hopes!
[Translation by Abdullah Yusuf Ali form altafsir.com]

Hasbunallahu sayuqti nallahu min fadhlihi wa Rasuluh
Innaa illallahi raaqibun

***
Subhanallah, Allah will not only give us His bounty, He will give it soon!

Sadaqallahul Azeem.


Monday, March 13, 2017

House of Allah | House Allah in the heart

Bismillah.

Assalamualaikum

My Monday was packed as planned Alhamdulillah. Hope you have had a good Monday too.

Am writing this backdated posting on Tuesday morning and thought I should have these two videos here as a point to reflect on the value of the House of Allah. One is about a mosque in Texas being destroyed by fire and how its imam and jemaah received plenty of support from Muslims, Jews and Christians. 

The second video is longer, and older. But it's refreshing and inspiring nonetheless as we see how our Muslim brothers in Netherlands struggled to build a mosque in Amsterdam. It took them 20 years before construction could begin in 2013. You might have watched this film before. I am having it here so I could come back to it at my convenience. [And also to remind me of one of the trips abroad I intend to make with my mother In Sha Allah.]

Let's not forget to house Allah in our hearts always, for that's an equally significant shi'ar of Islam for a Muslim. And let's not forget to thank Allah every day for giving us a nice peaceful house to live in. Imagine millions of people who are displaced, who do not have the comfort and joy of sleeping in their own bed. Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah, may Allah increase His blessings to us for we are indeed grateful for His benevolence.







Can't wait to balik kampung soon.
Missing my plants.
 (balik kampung = going back to one's home in one's hometown.)
Can't wait to visit Amsterdam : ) 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Work for this world, work for the Hereafter and work out

Bismillah.

I may sound exaggerating if I say this, but it's true. Or maybe it's just a coincidence. I have become more motivated to work out cos the King of Malaysia said we should embrace a healthy lifestyle and eat a healthy balanced diet. And he showed us by example that we should drink plenty of water anytime. Believe it or not, the King of Malaysia (who is in his 40s and single) paused when giving a speech at the Parliament, opened a bottle of mineral water himself and drank. He muttered calmly "Wait, I want to drink, wait." LOL. I think Malaysians have by now accepted that protocol simply does not exist in our King's vocabulary. LOL. I think there's another reason why Malaysians should be motivated to work out and stay active. Our sports minister is super fit, tall, dark and handsome. LOL.

On a serious note, of course, it's important to stay healthy by doing exercise and eating well so that we could function effectively. I just realized something, that as Muslim, we are either spending time working for dunya, or working for hereafter i.e. performing ibadah which also include using our physical stamina to help others. If we don't work out, we might not be so healthy, we could easily fall sick and be bedridden. When that happens, there's nothing much we could do for ourselves and others. When we are not working for dunya or the hereafter, we should be working out really. But of course, as we work out, we can do plenty of zikir/salawat so it would count as working for the Hereafter too. 

This posting is a reminder to myself and my nieces and nephews who weigh more than me. But it's not just about weight, it's about sweating it out and focusing on health instead of focusing on weight. More often than not, we have to convince the mind. 



Personally, I realized being an early riser and an early bird to the gym/pool is a lot more fun cos you have the gym and the pool all for yourself. You know as many other Muslim women, I yearn for privacy when working out or swimming.

My gym has got a very nice view of KL cityscape with the KLCC Twin Towers and the KL Tower right before the eyes. And as if to remind us that we are taking a step closer to death with each run on the thread mill or each pedal on the cycle, there's a Muslim cemetery before the eyes too! Such is life, each move we make, each day brings us closer to the final and eternal abode. Perhaps we won't have to work out to stay fit and healthy in the Heavens?! Ah...this world is a place for toil and strife.

"This dunya is a place for amal (actions) and striving and working hard in Allah's cause. It is not a place of everlasting happiness. Therefore, dear servant of Allah, detach your heart from this dunya and attach it to Allah Almighty for true eternal success in Jannah."
- Shaykh Sajid Umar

There's a Muslim cemetery somewhere down there

Post work-out on this beautiful Sunday morning
Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah
for good health and for everything good
- good food, good sleep, good clothes, good reading...
there's just too many of Allah's blessings to count.

***

And here's a video showing the King of Malaysia being himself, perhaps deliberately trying to impress upon his subjects that we should stay hydrated and that nothing should prevent us from drinking lots of water, anytime. LOL.


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Page 70 | 70th day

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah, we have come to the 70th day in 2017. We have come to page 70. This is the 70th posting Alhamdulillah. I am grateful for the opportunity to leave a little something on this space every day, for my family and close friends. This space is a celebration of my life. Life must be celebrated because it's a Divine Gift. 

I don't care if some people think I am just trying to show off, or if I am exposing too much for their liking (for their envy really). I am puzzled as to why they still come here to spy on me, only to break their hearts, and then have a big fight at home and lose their sleep. But I guess at the very least they might be motivated to look better for their spouses. LOL. 

Anyway, I say to them: 

wa ilaallahi tur ja'ul umur
For, to Allah do all questions go back (for decision).  
Unto Allah, all things are brought back.
And to Allah, all matters are returned.

I came across this verse during my Quran lesson yesterday. It's from verse 44 of Surah Al Anfal. It sure is a good disclaimer for any issues/circumstances we face; to silence our critics or to silence any uncertainties that may be playing in our minds.

And the following verse 45 says:
"O you who have believed, when you encounter a company (from the enemy forces) stand firm and remember Allah much, that you may be successful."

"O you who believe, when you face a group (in battle), stand firm and remember Allah abundantly, so that you may be successful."

Subhanallah! Allah knows we will have enemies and He tells us to stand firm and remember Him abundantly.


Sitting firm, waiting eagerly for my Quran lesson no. 21
Alhamdulillah
I hope our young readers (my nieces and nephews)
would be inspired to learn and recite the Quran regularly
despite their busy schedule in school/college.
Did I tell you,
I got inspired to employ a personal Quran tajweed teacher when I saw a video of one Muslimah celebrity (who is also a successful Malaysian scarf biz owner), learning Quran one-on-one with a Quran teacher.
So now I hope I will in turn,
inspire someone to have a Quran coach bi-iznillah.


And to Allah, all matters are returned.
; )

Friday, March 10, 2017

Overcome.TV | Do you find yourself inclining towards Islam? Come on over!

Bismillah

I discovered this awesome mission known as Overcome.tv when I visited the RIS Convention Bazaar at the Putrajaya International Convention Center, Malaysia last Sunday (5th of March 2017). 

Brother Fahed Bizzari is the founder of Overcome.tv. He and his team publish interviews of Muslim reverts every week so that would-be converts who are inclined towards Islam could get a better perspective of the religion and learn from the experiences of other converts. The concept, as stated in Overcome.tv website is: "to help borderline converts push forward in their journey to God. Until now, these people have gone by unnoticed and ignored, though they actually deserve much of our attention."

Alhamdulilah wa shukrulillah, a sister and a brother at the Overcome.tv booth showed me how I could play a small part to ensure Overcome.tv could continue being a medium of daawah. You may wish to donate on a monthly basis or contribute any one-off amount.        

I didn't get the chance to properly watch their videos at the RIS Convention Bazaar, but when I did catch up on their work through Overcome.tv website, I found myself humbled at seeing how bumpy the path could be for converts. It also made me feel in awe at seeing how beautiful Allah charts out their unique path to Islam. As a born Muslim, listening to the converts' stories has heightened my iman. I realised, hidayah (guidance) from Allah is something that we should continuously nurture, it's definitely something we should never take for granted.    

I encourage you to watch this inspiring story of how Abdalhamid found Islam three decades ago, through a Muslim community in Norwich. Watching a convert's story once a week could be a good way to keep us born-Muslims motivated and be grateful always for Allah's blessings.


Overcome.tv representative
at the RIS Convention Bazaar in Malaysia
4-5 March 2017
Do you find yourself having some extras from your monthly salary? Why not contribute USD20 on a monthly basis, at the minimum, so that our brothers and sisters at Overcome.tv could continue documenting convert stories and pave the way for borderline converts to find the Truth and achieve tranquility of the heart, bi-iznillah.
  
May Allah continue to make our hearts inclined towards helping His deen. May Allah let us have the honor of returning to Him with qalbun saleem - a heart that is sound and unblemished. Ameen.



Thursday, March 9, 2017

A woman of strength | Be bold for change | Happy International Women's Day

Bismillah.

It's nice to have received well wishes from both men and women on the 8th of March as we (women) rejoice in our own beautiful existence : )
    
Of course, as you all know the 8th of March (yesterday) was International Women's Day. It's originally known as International Working Women's Day. I gathered it all began in 1908 in USA when a group of working women marched through New York City demanding for better pay, shorter hours and voting rights. Two years later, in 1910 one smart woman from Germany named Clara Zetkin (a lady who was affiliated with the Social Democratic Party in Germany) suggested that every country should dedicate one day to celebrate women and push for their demands. And then a conference of more than 100 women from 17 countries agreed to Ms. Clara's suggestion and thus formed the International Women's Day (IWD). The first official celebration of IWD began in 1911 in Germany, Austria, Denmark and Switzerland. It was held on March 19th. The IWD's date was then shifted to March 8th in 1913. It's interesting to note that the United Nations only recognised IWD in 1975, that is 65 years after Ms. Clara mooted the idea for IWD. I wonder what took them so long. Yes, generally a woman takes a long time to do her make-up, choose the right dress/scarf, but hey, we are not as bad as the United Nations, being 65 years late is not cool. That's way beyond "fashionably late". LOL.    

The theme for this year's IWD is "Be Bold For Change". So yesterday I made a pledge to be bold for change and I specifically pledged to: celebrate women's achievement. The IWD official website has defined the agenda under this as to:
  • raise women's visibility as spokespeople in the media
  • drive fairer recognition and credit for women's contributions
  • launch even more awards showcasing women's success
  • hail the success of women leaders
  • applaud social, economic, cultural and political women role models
  • celebrate women's journeys and barriers overcome
  • reinforce and support women's triumphs

C'mon ladies [and gentlemen], click on the link below to make your pledge. You can pledge to:
  1. Challenge bias and inequality,
  2. Campaign against violence,
  3. Forge women's advancement,
  4. Champion women's education, OR pledge as I did, to...
  5. Celebrate women's achievement!

At the very least, when you go to the IWD website and click on the pledge you'll get to learn more about the specific action items under each pledge. We may not be in the position to do all in a grand way but it's OK cos Mother Teresa says: "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with love."

Yeah, it's not too difficult to celebrate a woman's achievement, just buy her a good book/magazine, a nice lunch, a lipstick, sunglasses or a scarf...
LOL 

#BeBoldForChange  





p/s
One man asked me this rather stupid question. He asked if I celebrate International Women's Day (IWD). LOL. 
Of course! Any woman who knows about IWD would rejoice, would be inspired by Ms Clara Zetkin who initiated it and she would celebrate it not just on March 8th, but every day. Women are clever of course, to us every day is women's day, we make ourselves look good and feel good every day. We say our prayers every day. We don't let anyone (any man) talk us down on any day. We walk with confidence. As Muslim women, we recite plenty of salawat and we know the greatest man, Prophet Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam, is behind our back.

The man who asked me the silly question should know that celebrating or observing IWD is not about going on a date or do things people might do on Valentine's Day or whatever. A smart woman does not need validation from anyone.

[Only a not-so-smart woman would impersonate and gatecrash her "competitor's" house in the presence of her own children and son-in-law. LOL]


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Test Your Quranic Knowledge | Ufka Yolculuk Online Competition on 2 April 2017

Bismillah.

I discovered this online competition organized by a Turkish organization when I was at the RIS Convention last Sunday.

I put on a brave face and marched towards the booth. It had a large bright yellow backdrop that says "Test Your Quranic Knowledge", I thought the test was going to be on the spot.

Fortunately, no. LOL. You have to register (before the 19th of March 2017) to enter this worldwide online competition that's taking place on 2 April 2017 (Sunday). You'll be given 120 minutes to answer 140 questions (multiple choice). 

I signed up for the contest (knowing pretty well I am no expert and I'm just curious to see my ranking). I made my buddies sign-up. I urged my Quran Tajweed teacher to sign up too. Ah...it's going to be a walk in the park for him.

The organizers are offering three iPads for the top three winners. I think the prize does not really matter. I'll be happy to be ranked the 100,000th out of the 150,000+ contestants who have registered so far. LOL. 

Ufka Yolculuk booth at RIS Convention
Putrajaya International Convention Center
Malaysia
4 - 5 March 2017

C'mon guys, you are much more knowledgeable than me. There's no age limit whatsoever. There's no admission fee. It will be exciting to see how we fare.

Learn more about the competition, be brave and sign up here:



Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Post-RIS | Contemplating with a revived spirit

Bismillah.


Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah
for a beautiful morning post-RIS convention

The RIS Convention (RIS = Reviving the Islamic Spirit) held in Putrajaya, Malaysia from 4th to 5th March 2017 was indeed a memorable event.

As I was contemplating (not on sajadah but on a hammock. LOL) I thought about the answer Dr Umar Faruq gave to one question regarding sufism. He said, no matter how "sufi" you think you are or how "sufi" anyone regards himself, no one could exceed Sayyidina Abu Bakar as a sufi, as one who is blessed with a high degree of understanding of the tasawuf.

Tasawuf or sufism is very much a fabric of Islam on the ehsan level where you worship Allah as if you see Him and even if you can't see Him, He sees you anyway. The shaykh quoted the famous saying about a person becoming a zindiq (heretic) if he/she was to practise haqiqat without shariat. Tasawuf or ehsan builds on a strong foundation of shariat. There's no two way about it. Sayyidina Abu Bakar As-Siddiq was one who sees Allah when he sees birds flying in the sky, as in the verse of the Quran - "None holds them (birds) in the sky except Allah." No one could surpass the degree of love he had for Allah and His Messenger salallah alaihi wasalam

So I guess, what Dr Umar was trying to say is, just stop debating on the theories and philosophy of sufism/tasawuf. Just think about Sayyidina Abu Bakar as a benchmark Sufi. We are so far behind, we have lots to do as a Muslim, period.

Dr Umar said, the RIS organizer purposely designed the backdrop and event setting like a concert because they wanted to attract the younger audience. We can't just have a blackboard and talk and talk because the i-Phone generation is not going to listen. At least they would have a longer attention span and be mesmerized by the lightings etc. and listen to what the shuyukh tried to impress upon them. The shaykh hopes the RIS in Malaysia would be held on an annual basis and would attract more young people to attend.

Speaking of young crowds, one would-be medical student from Singapore asked Imam Zaid Shakir what more he could do as a young person who has abundant energy. This young man appeared to be a serious Muslim (Although outwardly you might think he is just one careless teen and he didn't even look like a typical Muslim. That's why we should not judge people from their dressing/looks.) This young man raised his concerns about people his age/the young ones who spend too much time on computer games. He felt he needed to do something more for the community and that the young generations should use their time and energy to contribute something meaningful to the society.

In his reply, Imam Zaid said he's glad he didn't spend a minute on computer games. Spending time on computer games is similar to wasting food/spending too much - only scoundrels would do. The hadith refers to anything that people waste including time. Imam Zaid encouraged the young man to invest his time researching on cheap medical supplies as it's a lifetime vocation and to travel to poor countries where people are in dire need of medical care. That he should be financially independent so he could help others. That he should disengage from social media unless it's related to his profession/studies. That he should read more Quran and memorize the Quran instead of wasting time on social media. That he may want to consider learning the Malay Pencak Silat (martial arts) so that he would become more confident. This would be good for dunya (cos people won't bother him. LOL) and also his akhirah because he would be considered as a confident Muslim who's beneficial to his community.

I am pretty sure this young man and many people went home with a revived spirit, post-RIS Convention.

Everyone, young and old,
needs an inspiring and motivating environment to excel
As we enjoy a relatively good life, let's not forget our sisters and brothers who are vulnerable, those who are mentally ill, who need a good support system and medical attention to prevent them from contemplating/attempting suicide. I gathered at the RIS convention, it is, sadly, becoming a common problem among the youth. May Allah protect us all from negativities and a bad outcome. May Allah grant us good health and prosperity. May we be prosperous in knowledge, useful knowledge that is and prosperous in amal (good deeds) and prosperous in material possessions so we could help others, so that that we will win all the way to Jannah and be praiseworthy in the eyes of Allah in both dunya and akhirah.

Ameen Ya Rabb.

  

Monday, March 6, 2017

Reviving the Islamic Spirit (RIS) Convention - Malaysia, 4 - 5 March 2017

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.

I have got plenty to share but for now this much I could afford as it's getting late.

As you all know it's the first RIS Convention held in this part of the world. It's in Putrajaya, Malaysia y'all. So proud that the RIS' stage inside the Plenary Hall where the main event was held looked super awesome, it's definitely world-class.

Shaykh Dr Muhammad bin Yahya al-Ninowy on the first day of RIS Convention in Malaysia.
"Ihsan is that you worship Allah as if you are seeing Him.
And if you are not seeing Him, as if He is seeing you."
"Ihsan is that you worship Allah as if you are seeing Him - meaning seeing only Him, not even yourself,
not even your act of worship, not your own himmah. And if you are not seeing Him (meaning if you are veiled from seeing Him due to your awe to wealth, status, fame etc.) at the very least, think that He is seeing you." 
- Shaykh al-Ninowy
Pic credit: RIS Convention
Quotes credit: Dr.N

Imam Zaid Shakir
spoke during the last "Between the Lines" session
at the foyer of Putrajaya International Convention Center (PICC).
Earlier in the Plenary Hall, the Imam talked about
"Not just why, but why not? Making religion relevant"

Imam Zaid Shakir informed the hostess he'd yet to pray Asar,
so the talk came to an end for the Imam to do his solah
right there on the stage! He showed us it's ok to admit we are late for prayers so that people would let us get on with God. 

Imam Zaid's session ended on a low note. During the Q & A session, a young woman broke down while posing her question to the imam. She asked what she could to help a friend who had attempted suicide just last Sunday. She felt helpless and didn't see it coming as the friend was a hijabi who's regular in her daily prayers.

Earlier, on the same stage, Dr Umar Faruq talked about the importance of solving the ummah's issues collectively. Only through our good words and deeds can we help people who are vulnerable. He quoted a Malay saying: "It takes a village to raise a child." We have to talk to the young people and appeal to them in their language. If we don't speak to our children, we got no future!

Dr Umar also emphasized the importance of music/songs in the field of daawah. But only certain kind of songs like hip-hop would appeal to the troubled communities in the inner cities where life is a constant struggle. They could only relate to certain kind of songs/music. They can't relate to Cat Steven's music which many of us find appealing. Troubled communities can't imagine a beautiful world because it's simply beyond their imagination. 

Dr Umar Faruq Abdullah
spoke about real issues taking place in the inner cities of USA.

Two important initiatives I discovered at the bazaar held at the RIS event:
  • The Rabata program where women could learn from qualified woman-scholars. It's headed by sister Anse Tamara Gray. You may want to consider signing up for an online course on the Companions of the Prophet. There's a book that accompanies the lessons on 60 companions. At long last, I found a proper method of learning about the sahabah - Alhamdulillah! Ladies, wait no more, do check out Rabata's activities here: http://rabata.org 
  • Overcome.tv who produce one convert-story each week. You may wish to make a monthly contribution, for them to help/guide potential reverts. Take a look at the heartwarming conversion stories published by Overcome.tv, an organization based in the UKhttps://www.overcome.tv/en/about/about-us 

On a lighter note, I bought these lovely tea/coffee set at the RIS Bazaar. They are handmade by our Muslim brothers based in Shanghai China http://taufik.cn/. Indeed Allah is beautiful, He loves beauty. And He manifests His beauty through exquisite crafts such as these by Taufik.


La ilaha illAllah
The Chinese engravings mean:
"Obey the Messenger of Allah" 

Also by Taufik.
Ah...the joy of gifting. Alhamdulillah.
Hope my "special recipient" will like this piece of beauty.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah for a beautiful and fruitful day.


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Valuable real estate

Bismillah.


Hi folks,

What's on your mind tonight? It'd better be something positive and constructive. [Never mind having dry lips as long as your mind is smooth and sassy LOL]

You gotta be your own real estate agent when it comes to your head LOL. No need to let other agents take control of your precious property.

Napoleon Hill says:
"You have a brain and mind of your own.
Use it, and reach your own decisions."

Nouman Ali Khan said this at the RIS Convention in KL yesterday:
"Allah doesn't just hear the sound of our voices, 
but He hears the sound of our hearts."

Yes, and I say, Allah hears the sound of our minds too! So let's keep it positive and constructive. Make the voices in our minds beautiful. Make them lovely. The sound of our voices will echo that which is in the sound mind of ours.

May Allah help us reverberate only beautiful frequencies in both the heart and mind.
Ameen.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Nobody can shut you down | RUB


Bismillah.




This is a meaningful quote I found on Islamic Online Univ Twitter. Of course, there are people who think they could hold you by the forelock, forgetting that Allah holds them and everybody else by the forelock. 

Foolish is he/she who tries to close the door that Allah opens for a person. There are many control freak out there who tries to control other people's life path, personal choices, and destiny.

May Allah protect us from control freaks. May Allah give us the strength to ignore/unsubscribe from people who discount and devalue us.



Wish y'all a Saturday that's full of spectacular happenings.

I am off to a resort : )
Alhamdulillah.


Friday, March 3, 2017

Being (unapologetically) myself, today and everyday

Bismillah.

Ah...a lil bird told me I have got a bunch of "secret admirers" who would come near my house/office just to catch a glimpse of me. LOL. Yes. Only God knows the real intentions/motivation behind the somewhat silly actions people do.

I say: No need lah. I thought I've shared a good number of my photos here already? Two more below. LOL.

You know you are matured and have enough confidence in yourself when you don't care to apologize for being yourself. Or if people think you are unapologetically vain. LOL.

There are people who tried to talk me down. They say 'Ah you clever, you only post pretty photos of yourself.' As if I try to fool people into thinking I look a certain way when in truth I am ugly.

Gosh! My photos are for my self-keeping here on my personal space. I never forced anyone to visit this space and believe everything they read or see. LOL.

I wear a face of gratitude. I neither care about your definition of beauty. Nor your opinion of me. I don't care if you think my legs, fingers or eyelashes are not long enough. Or if my nose is fat and flat. Or if I am too tanned for your liking. I don't care if you regard me as 'satanic', whatever! I didn't start this blog to gain popularity. I am not fame-hungry.

I've got sufficient confidence and contentment to say: Allah Al Jameel - the Most Beautiful - has created me and all His other creations in the most beautiful way.

So?



Always carry a handbag.
Never leave home without it.
Try as you might,
leave your eye-bags at home.
LOL.

TGIF.
Have a rockin' day folks.




-E-

Rub it in
LOL

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Alhamdulillahil lazi hada na.... | Had Allah not guided us

Bismillah.

Forgot to mention this sweet moment - coming across a du'a I'm familiar with as I was reading and learning Surah Al A'raf with my honorable Quran teacher. It's like: "Hey! I know this!" It's one of the feel-good moments : )

Surely, we gotta say Alhamdulillah and we rejoice at knowing that Allah intends to make us a good person if He pours into our heart and mind, knowledge concerning the deen. Ah...speaking of Alhamdulillah. I learned from Shaykh Allie Khalfe the underlying meanings of the word. It's really heavily loaded this one phrase Alhamdulillah we say countless times in a day, in and outside our solah.    

Du'a in verse 43 Surah Al A'raf

Indeed, "All praise is to Allah who has guided us to this, and we would never have been guided if Allah had not guided us."

No, no, no, we would not have been able to find the way, had Allah not guided us.

It's a beautiful and humbling phrase, surely. And I like it even more, cos there's a couple of "hada" in it.

Happy...happy...Thursday!


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

March on | The heights of prayers

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah. I am humbled and delighted to have marched on to my 20th lesson onto Surah Al A'raf (The Heights).

Excited to have discovered two precious du'a tonight which I must put it here so that I could memorize it and may you benefit from it too. 

Du'a in verse 126 Surah Al A'raf
Rabbanaa af riq alaina sobran 
watawaf fana muslimin

O our Lord, pour out patience upon us
and cause us to die as Muslims (those who submit to You)

Du'a in verse 149 Surah Al A'raf


La illam tarhamna
wa taghfirlana
lanaku nanna minal khosirin

If Allah shows no mercy to us
and does not forgive us,
we shall certainly be among the losers.

***

So I gather from the du'a, the heights of being a Muslim is dying as a Muslim, as one who submits to Allah's will. And that even though we may seemingly succeed in something (according to our own definition of success) we are in fact a loser if Allah is not merciful towards us and does not forgive us. His mercy and His forgiveness are all that matters.

May Allah pour out patience upon us in being an obedient servant of His, in facing whatever challenges that He has destined for us.

Ameen.

p/s
It's interesting to observe that several major Quran translations actually use the phrase "pour out" for patience. And one major Quran translator defines it as "gush on us torrents of patience". When we pour something, when something gush, it sure is plentiful! May Allah be pouring out patience on us continually. Ameen.

The best part about being patient is that He is with the one who is patient. Everything should be easy and pleasant when He is with us! Is it not?


Ref: Altafsir.com