Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Lean on Him | Virtue is my honour

Bismillah.

"Virtue Mine Honour" [virtue is my honour] is the motto of MacLean's clan - one of the oldest Scottish clan in the Highlands known for their honour, courage, and strength on the battlefields.

Alhamdulillah, it's official - now that I've paid the course fees LOL - I am a student at the Uni of Strathclyde and my batch is named after the MacLean clan. As soon as I learned this, I did some googling and discovered interesting facts about the clan. Of course, I'm proud to be associated with it, hence decided to buy the clan's tartan (no surprise at all LOL).

May Allah capacitate me to live up to the motto, to be brave, upright, respectable, worthy, honest and honourable. We can only lean on Him to have any amount of success.

May Allah help me acquire plenty of useful learning so that I may be useful to myself and others - for the longest time. Ameen.   

I wish to thank all my silent/low-keyed supporters from near and far, you know who you are. Thank you for letting me know albeit quietly that I can always lean on you. May Allah reward you with a high station in the realm of spirits for the high regard you have towards me despite knowing my weaknesses. Ameen. 

Virtue is our honour.

My tartan scarf - the most sentimental purchase for 2018 (yet)
LOL
The MacLean of Duart Hunting Tartan is recognized as the oldest tartan in the world.
Ref: http://www.clanmacleanatlantic.org/mac-symbols.html

Monday, March 26, 2018

Happy Monday | May He elevate us and grant us useful knowledge

Bismillah.



Kuala Lumpur
26 March 2018
View from Level 51 Element Hotel @ Ilham Tower KL

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah, that Allah has preserved this wonderful city of Kuala Lumpur. How many world's cities have vanished on account of the evil works of men? Shaykh Muhammad Al Yaqoubi was supposed to visit KL a couple of weeks ago, and like most people, I was looking forward to it. But Allah had willed that it wasn't going to take place. I recalled the atmosphere in 2009 when I sat in a majlis taalim in KL where he gave some useful lessons. I remembered how jovial the moments were. The shaykh asked the audience to pray for his flight home to Damascus. Imagine how things have changed in the course of nine/ten years. He cannot say something like that anymore because Damascus is nothing like it used to be. La hawla wala quwwata illah billah.



Alhamdulillah to have had a wonderful breakfast with this amazing view.
- a handful of Asmaul Husna displayed atop a nearby building.
May Allah Al Aziz elevate us to a better station. May Allah Al Aleem grant us useful knowledge
so we have the capacity to make life in this world more meaningful for us and mankind.
Ameen.

Gotta praise the chefs at the Trace Cafe @ Element Hotel KL for the scrumptious food.
And of course, we have to commend the designer and developer of the award-winning building
Ilham Tower where the hotel is co-located. It's truly a game-changing construction work, one which I had been continually watching from my balcony at Level 32 (and previously Level 39) of Setiasky Residence. Thus it was a delight to finally experience Ilham Tower at last.
May Allah keep this city safe and vibrant as ever.



Note:
The building with Asmaul Husna display belongs to the Malaysian Hajj Agency.

View from Level 39 Ilham Tower KL

p/s
This is NOT a paid review. LOL.
I paid for the hotel stay on my own and wrote from the heart & mind, not just because someone has paid me for it ; )

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Happy Sunday | Be in a good mood | Be in your element at the Element KL

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.

You owe it yourself to be in a good mood today.

Enjoy being in your element

At the Element @ Ilham Tower KL




 You have to fight through
some bad days
to earn the best days of your life.
Wama tawfiqi illah billah.


Must commend the designer/developer of the Element Hotel @ Ilham Tower KL for the lovely indoor pool and more importantly for letting us enjoy warm saline water for a change, with such magnificent view from Level 39. Yes, the water is warm and saline!

p/s
This is NOT a paid review.
I paid for my own stay and wrote sincerely from my heart and discerning mind, not just because someone has paid me to do it. I have been admiring Ilham Tower from afar for so long as I had been witnessing its construction from Setiasky Residence for the past two years or so.
: D




Saturday, March 24, 2018

Praise the Lord regardless and boost your run

Bismillah.

Do I look like I care about people's insults towards me?

One man poked fun at me that according to him, all my projects had "failed" whereas his "dakwah" YouTube channel has garnered 2 Million viewers already. However, he himself and his clan don't even bother to watch its contents as they seem to prefer other kinds of "entertainment".

I think it's apparent the definition of success and failure is pretty subjective.

I am grateful that I have got three projects progressing well, and I don't have to elaborate it here.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.




Wama tawfiqi illah billah



Praise the Lord, regardless and boost your run, girls and boys, should you encounter any negativities.



Sunday, March 18, 2018

Rejab - A splendid month

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah, here comes the first of the three sacred months.

May the Lord help us prep for this auspicious season.

Allahumma bariklana fi Rajaba wa Syaaban
wa ballighna Ramadhan

Rejab istighfar as recommended by Habib Umar bin Hafiz is pretty long for a novice like me.
So I've chosen this one-liner to learn by heart.




I seek the forgiveness of Allah
for every
word
act
and thought
and every inward
and outward action of mine
which Allah dislikes.

http://muwasala.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/IstighfarRajab.pdf


WaSalamualaikum warahmatullah.

[Trying] As ever,
-E-


Saturday, March 17, 2018

The best of gifts

Bismillah.

One night, in the still of the night, as I was making du'a I realized something which might be more obvious to you holy people out there. I realized it did not matter what I had around me, all the stuff that's attributed to me, in my life. Everything seemed to be of no value except the very du'a I was making, the list of du'a and the salawat (durood) that the Lord had put on the tongue and in the heart at that very moment. It felt like those were the only things that mattered. That the du'a was all I needed. Subhanallah. Yes, we making du'a to the Lord is the best gift from Him, already.     

And one other best of gifts is du'a from friends whose level of piety is 1000 rungs above you. You know the popular Tee that says "My friend went to London, and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt"?

I feel like having this written on a T-shirt, it's a bit long though and it doesn't rhyme but it weighs a tonne for me.
"My friend went to Japan
to be Imam at a mosque there,
and all I got was his du'a." 

YaHuuu!

Think again if you want to judge me.
Look at the kind of people I befriend, and try judge again.
But then again, I don't really care about your opinion.

LOL


Greetings from my humble abode



p/s
Someone thought I was arrogant about being clever.
Ahah... now I know I am clever. Thanks for the compliment, I shall approach my cleverness with a grateful heart : )

Who is arrogant/boasting about her/his seemingly good deeds? Not me!


Friday, March 16, 2018

Conditions created

Bismillah.

Assalamualaikum,
Hi folks!

Yeah...I know you missed me. LOL.
I know you are still checking on me. LOL.
Been busy cherishing life and its wonderful manifestations. Just like you.

Ah...I don't mean to appear insensitive to those who might be heart broken right now. You know they say, change your thoughts and the thing you look at will change. It takes a lot of practice. "The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet." - J. Oppenheim
But then good stuff takes time to grow.

Anyway, this week could have been more awesome if the talks by Shaykh Yaqoubi had not been canceled. But Allah knows best. I was looking forward to seeing him again after a decade. In 2009, I was fortunate enough to be among the audience who sat in his majlis and received ijazah for Hadith Ar Rahmah about the virtues of compassion. 

Here's a link to my old posting - some sketchy notes of the lesson learned then.

Be compassionate on yourself, first and foremost, so as to be happy from within.
: )



Yes, happiness is not created as a result of certain conditions. Certain conditions are created as a result of happiness.

Happy Weekend!

p/s
Cutenye...cutenye...
[Inside joke LOL]
Girl, try again another day  ; )


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Feed your focus

Bismillah.

What are you feeding on?
As for the soul, let's feed on the remembrance of the Lord (zikir in the form of repetitive sacred verse, or just plain thoughts of the Almighty), Quranic verses, salawat and happy positive thoughts. 

Err...it's not a matter of speech ya. I am a regular Quran reader who is obsessed with salawat - all thanks to the tawfik from Allah.
Wama tawfiqi illah billah, alaihi tawakkaltu wa ilaihi unib
"My success can only come from Allah, in Him I trust and unto Him, I look"
[Hud:88]

How do you define distractions?
Irrelevant, unimportant social media feeds.
People who try to derail you from your life path/goals.
  
How do you starve distractions?
Just be in your own zone, stay on course, do what matters to you and anything that makes you happy.
And remember, what makes you happy doesn't need approval from anyone else.
  
This is a reminder for one nephew of mine who is busy focusing on his studies. Feed your focus Mer, and before long, you gonna fly. "We got wit, we don't do ___."
You know what to fill in the blank ; )




Thursday, March 8, 2018

Press for progress

Bismillah.

'Press for Progress' is the theme for 2018 International Women's Day, as you might be aware. We all love anything that rhymes don't we? Yes, I absolutely love the slogan. We, women, have to keep pressing forward to make a unit of progress, on a daily basis. And as one who has quite an extensive experience working in the corporate world, I want to say this, that we should also be quick and bold to press the "reject" button whenever men try to bully us at work. I used to be a victim but as I grow wiser and older I have become good at virtually punching them: damn men-office-bully.

You know I have a male colleague who had the nerve to ask me (and a female colleague) if there's a full stop after Mr? This guy has been working for decades and has been lobbying with the "top guns" so he could get a double promo, yet he expected me to help him with drafting a simple email. He's not even sure about simple punctuation rules. [Shame on you Mister. You decide yourself, Mister. Or ask Mr. Google. Mr Google (without a full stop) will be happy to answer too.]

You might have seen the photo of a bunch of policemen standing talking to one another as one lady janitor wiped off a graffiti that says 'Happy International Women's Day'. This took place at a prestigious uni in the UK. You just feel like slapping the face of all four policemen in the pix, don't you? LOL.

On the 8th of March, as I reflected outwardly and inwardly, I just wanted to mention two women who were on my mind: my first Quran teacher and Ms. Masako Wakamiya the 82-year-old, oldest iPhone app developer, who first started using the PC at the age of 60.  

My Quran teacher did not only teach me to read the Quran for the first time. She instilled the drive to press for progress as far as Quran recital is concerned - that it takes constant effort throughout one's lifetime. You might have read a posting I did about using a digital Quran-pen to check on the correct tajweed/pronunciation for any verse that I was unsure of.  I used to be among those old-school readers who prefer the hardcopy. Well, I still read using a physical Quran but I have become a happy user of the Muslim Pro app. It's hassle-free as compared to using a digital Quran pen. I don't have to worry about charging the pen. With the Muslim Pro app I could choose to repeat each verse twice, thrice or even infinite times (in case you want to memorize the ayah). In my case, I set it to repeat twice. The first time is to listen and observe how a professional Qari recites. The second time is to listen again while reading the meaning of the verse. I do this to familiarize as a warm-up session before actually reading the Quran using a physical book. And whenever I do so, as I come across any verse that I'm not sure about, I would use the Muslim Pro app again to zoom into the particular verse. I hope you too would be encouraged to improve your recitation by using the Muslim Pro app. Good to keep busy scrolling the verses covering as many surah as possible, repeatedly, than to scroll the phone for other meaningless feeds. 

Ms. Masako Wakamiya who developed a Japanese gaming app meant for the seniors is indeed a living proof of "Press for Progress". She inspires us to keep ourselves busy doing meaningful things, feeding our brain positively, filling up our leisure time with useful learning. This oldest app developer took up the piano at 75. 

How old are you? What are you up to?

I can't wait to start my MBA course, very soon. Bi-iznillah. It's March, I am marching to Chapter 11 of the Quran now. Hope to khatam in May inShaAllah. I bet you are busy doing better and bigger stuff.

Do your "Muslim Pro" thing.
Maximize the app.

***
Articles on Masako:

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Praise THE Carrier | Provider of good things

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah that THE One and Only Carrier has kept me safe during my recent trips. I'm feeling a lil disoriented [but grateful] after non-stop trips since late Jan, and now back in KL. It feels like my supposedly full-time job in KL has become just a pastime LOL.

Of course, my whereabouts are not important. What's important are these reflections that I have been doing during my trips and these are lessons worth sharing with the young ones in my family.

When you are "alone" albeit being in a company, as you traverse the land you tend to become more conscious of at least two verses of the Quran; about Allah creating a beautiful canopy (the sky) above us and about Allah holding the birds in mid-air. For today, let's talk about the canopy. Can you imagine not having a decent looking canopy above us? Imagine if it was just void, pitch-black or ugly patches all the way up? Imagine if it was an eerie looking giant hole? It might have been a window to the hell, even! No, it's not even the typical things you see on a shop's exposed ceiling i.e. the electrical wiring, the aircon pipes, the ventilation system, ugly!

But, Allah  Al Bari' the Designer/the Inventor thought about it all, He fashioned it, developed it so thoughtfully and beautifully; and ever-evolving at that. The canopies are always changing colors and shapes at every moment in time. Subhanallah!  

So, let's think about it a lil deeper. Let's reflect upon Surah Ghaffir 40:64. Let's memorize and internalize it.

Indeed He has provided us with good things.

"Allah it is Who appointed for you the earth for a dwelling-place and the sky for a canopy, and fashioned you and perfected your shapes and has provided you with good things. Such is Allah, your Lord. Then blessed be Allah, the Lord of the Worlds."





My second secret hammock spot in Penang.
Nay not going to tell anyone LOL
Praise the Provider of Good Things!
Can't blame me for recognizing the good in my life.
Gratitude=recognizing the good in one's life.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Living Malacca [again and again]

Bismillah.

Hi... Hi... Hi... folks
Ya Hayy.....praise the Lord the Life-giver for letting us live a peaceful and joyful life while not forgetting Him.

Here are more clippings documenting my weekend spent in Melaka (Malacca) so that it won't be lost for my future recollection. We have a duty to love ourselves that's why. [Btw this is backdated. It's Tuesday morning. Am writing from my home in Penang actually! Alhamdulillah.]

Anyway, He is Beautiful and He loves beauty. We see His Beautiful crafts everywhere and of course, we love beautiful objects, we don't have to be apologetic about it. I especially love hotels/living spaces that have got beautiful decor so that's why I recorded more pics of a hotel lobby and rooms than faces. LOL. 

That's a Batik frame. Malaysian Batik that is.
Visit Malaysia : )




I leave myself and you with this quote.

"The happiness of your life depends upon
the quality of your thoughts."
- Marcus Aurelius

Think happy thoughts.
Live a happy life.
Think well of the Generous Lord
Al Kareem, Al Wahab, Ar Razak,
So He will be generous towards us.
He is what we expect Him to be.
"I am as my servant thinks I am"
- Hadith Qudsi

Saturday, March 3, 2018

May we march boldly and live colorfully

Bismillah.

Happy to touch base at my fave space and send out some luv. This time from Melaka (again). I will repeat this info for the benefit of our foreign visitors: Melaka is about two hours drive south of KL. I love everything about this city, hmm except one thing, its slogan  - "Don't mess with Melaka". Hey, we love you lah that's why we keep coming back LOL. And no we don't dare mess with you ever, out of respect for the grand saint at a nearby island Pulau Besar - Sultan Ariffin Sayyid Ismail. Good to be conscious of the ruhhul quddus (sacred souls) no matter where we go.  

We just can't get enough of Melaka, and Penang of course.

I leave you with quotes that we all can relate to, surely:
"Love yourself first, because that's who you'll be spending the rest of your life with."
And spend your life colorfully.
And "be loyal to your future, not your past."

Pulau Besar - a resting isle for one descendant of the Prophet
- Sultan Ariffin Sayyid Ismail 


In living colors | Living in colors




Featured in my video clippings = homemade vadai - a specialty of a family friend of mine. Tomorrow she's going to make Asam Pedas Daging Tetel for us - it's a signature dish of Melaka.

Visit Melaka.
Visit Malaysia.


Friday, March 2, 2018

A gesture from Madinah Al Munawarah

Bismillah.

I always go for quality than quantity when it comes to friends.

Today is one of the days I feel extra blessed cos a good friend of mine gifted me with this lovely misbahah/tesbih. How not to feel special? It's a gift from a Madinah resident. Of course it's special cos it's green. It's special the fact that it came from the place of residence of our dearest Prophet salallah alaihi wasalam. I take this as a gesture that my countless selawat have reached him salallah alaihi wasalam.

I am happy that this friend of mine had moved from Mekah to Madinah. Indeed Madinah is THE place to live and die. May Allah grant a good life and husnul khatimah to this friend of mine - the giver of this lovely gift. May Allah grant us the honor of dying [if not living] in Madinah. Ameen.



Thursday, March 1, 2018

March forward

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.

We all love March, don't we? This third month of the year is like the third gear. You are gearing up quickly before speeding your way. Personally, I am so looking forward to the month-end ; D when I'll have a spring in my step InShaAllah. I read somewhere that a Mukmin's nature is to be in a cool, collected, smiling state in good times and not-so-good times. We have to promote and rejoice in well-being as it is all part of Allah's bounties while keeping in our hearts/du'a our friends who are not as fortunate as we are. 

OK that's all I'm saying, a gesture indicating I'm so alive n kicking : D

Here's a motivational quote for you and me:

"The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up."
- Paul Valery

Wake up early in the morning.
Wake up after a siesta so you can wake up at night.
Wama tawfiqi illah billah.


Paul is here in KL y'all.
Laduree Paris is here too
"It doesn't get easier;
You get better."
- Dominique Scott