Sunday, November 29, 2015

IMYT | Weekends FIFO | Enter the tiger's den


Of course you know what that means. IMYT means I miss you too. Heh...heh. I missed you and thought of you, my dear visitors, over the weekend that has just passed. 

Your friend Eza was too busy to write as she was travelling, again. This time she went to Ipoh (2 hours drive north of KL). Her schedules got crazier that she had to miss a gathering at her own house in Penang - a gathering with the wonderful and much loved tahfiz boys from Cambodia. So sweet that they noticed my absence - "where is that sister who loves flowers?" They remembered the house was filled with flowers during the last gathering we had in September. So sweeeet!

Alhamdulillahil hamdan yuwafi niámahu wa yukafi u mazidah

The weekends seem to fly in and fly out (FIFO) just like that. During the weekend, I noticed something interesting and worth mentioning methinks. That people have to be told exactly what to do or what you expect them to do. We cannot take things for granted or assume that people know what they should do.

Of course we all know that we are supposed to take the hotel room access card with us every time we leave the room. I didn't realize there are many people who don't do that, until I heard it from a course trainer. He must be right, otherwise the hotel where I was staying in Ipoh would not have put up specific instructions as can be seen in below picture.

This room isn't afraid of the dark.
Carry the card when you leave.

If they knew there are people like me who would leave the TV on all night long every time I sleep alone in the hotel, they might put a notice on the pillow: "Don't be afraid. You are not alone. The TV is not a real sleeping partner. There are hundreds of people sleeping in this hotel tonight."  LOL

Anyways...oh I wanted to write some lessons for event organizers or stage managers to be specific. I wanted to write about this several weeks back but it was shelved until I received an invite to be a speaker at a forum. Ahah! They like me after all. It's got nothing to do with the religion/sufism/blogging. It's about my 9 to 5 job. It's strange because I thought I did quite bad at the forum organized by the same agency last month. I did so very bad, believe me folks. 

If you are an event organizer, listen up. How could I speak when I had to sit and use one hand to hold a mic, look at a small monitor on my left, hold the slide remote on another hand and point it to my right side because the projector was on the right side. And hey, I needed to use my Surface (tablet) because my speaker notes were in there but the table in front of me was too small and too far from my seat so I could not use it. And I have got only two hands!

Thus, I had to request to use the rostrum on the floor (not the one on the stage because there was no stand mic on that rostrum). So I spoke from the emcee's rostrum on the floor and the mic kept slipping down but nobody cared to help me fix it. And I had to point the slide remote to my right, look at the audience in front of me and occasionally looked at the other panelist on the stage on my left and I had to also look at the big screen behind me, above my head, so that my speech would be in sync with my notes and at the same time manage my notes on my Surface. But the screen was too close and too big and glaring so I could not see well. OMG! All that, spells BAD presentation! Very bad!

But somehow (it must be my sweet sounding voice...ehem ehem) the organizer asked me to present again the next day to represent a sub-working group. OMG. You have no idea how [quietly] excited I was even though I tried to decline the offer the first time, pretending not to want it and to give others a chance at speaking. LOL. Allah is great, He heard my prayers! I was profusely praying for a second chance at being a speaker cos I desperately wanted to prove that I could do better and that it was not my fault that my presentation on the first day was utterly terrible. Allah is ever so kind! He listened and He answered my prayers! Subhanallah!

I did better at the second chance of course, Alhamdulillah because I had spoken from the rostrum on stage and the mic behaved well and when I openly complained that I could not see the small monitor on the left end of the stage, the organizer passed me a hardcopy to refer to and when I realized the hardcopy was not the same as what was flashed on the monitor, I pointed that out openly too so the organizer quickly handed me the correct version. The lesson there is: must be brave to speak up and don't suffer in silence. LOL.    

And guess what? Last Friday, I was approached for another speaking engagement. YaHuuuu! Allah is Kareem! Pray, someday I will be able to charge RM30,000 for a 30 minute talk. LOL. The moral of the story here is that no matter how bad you [think you] do, never give up, push yourself and do it again and again! When you are thrown into an assignment or a task which you are not comfortable with, do remember this Japanese proverb below. You just have to get in there, jump in where your fears are and face it because you cannot possibly experience fear, challenge and push yourself in your comfort zone or in a place where you already feel safe. It doesn't work that way.

Japanese proverb

It amazes me that our scholars, they did not attend any public speaking or presentation course yet they are all so good and natural at public speaking. They are really gifted individuals, aren't they?

May Allah increase us in knowledge and understanding. May Allah let us be a receptacle of His wisdom and intelligence. Ameen.

30 Nov 2015


BTW I remembered the toilets at Shanghai Airport (or was it Kunming) they had labels for soap dispensers on each of the sink. But everywhere else in the world, people are expected to know/guess if it was a soap dispenser. And I remembered the Shanghai Airport had a large signage for musolla (prayer room). Impressive.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Sacred Paths | Sacred Path Retreat in Malaysia by Cordoba Academy | Sacred Path of Love Event in Singapore by Sout Ilaahi Group


Alhamdulillah. I heard one muáleem quoting a saying by a renowned scholar that the time we live in is special because there are plenty of majlis taálim and these majalis literally come to us. 

Indeed, he is right. It wasn't like this 10 years ago. There are so many majlis taálim being organized nowadays and they are easily accessible through the internet and all kinds of social media platform. For this, we all ought to be thankful and grateful so that Allah will grant us more and keep us steadfast on the sacred path.


The holiday season is fast approaching. Let's plan for it wisely and quickly. Check out on these two great events coming your way in the last week of December - highly recommended events before we end the year.

1. Sacred Path Retreat Malaysia by the Cordoba Academy

Date: 25 Dec 2015 (Friday) to 2 Jan 2016 (Saturday)

It is a 9-day retreat where participants get to learn from four distinguish muáleem:

  • Shaykh Mohammed Daniel (UK)
  • Shaykh al-Sharif Hasan al-Kettani (Morocco)
  • Ustaza Um Ibrahim al-Dimshiqiyah (Syria)
  • Shaykh Hasan Mohammed al-Sanani (Yemen)  

This is the second retreat organized in Malaysia by the Cordoba Academy, led by its founder and principal, Shaykh Mohammed Daniel. The Cordoba Academy has taught over 6,000 students worldwide. In addition to studying various kitab from the above mentioned scholars, participants will also get to visit selected local scholars and mosques in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Perak and Kedah, including the beautiful island of Langkawi. Insya Allah.

The fee for foreigners is US$1249/RM3999 and the fee for Malaysians (excluding transport and accommodation) is RM999. If you are keen to attend and need to have more details on the program, please click on the following links:

2. The Sacred Path of Love 2015 in Singapore by the Sout Ilaahi Group

Date: 26 Dec 2015 (Saturday) & 27 Dec 2015 (Sunday)

This is the 6th annual Sacred Path of Love (SPOL) event organized by the Sout Ilaahi Group headed by Brother Khalid Ajmain.

It has become THE event to go in Singapore during the year end holiday break, not just for Singaporeans but many SPOL followers from the region.

The SPOL is known for exciting and catchy topic every time. This year it will be about 'The Beauty of Imperfection'. Three scholars, namely Shaykh Abdul Aziz Fredericks, Dr Omar and Ustaz Amin will shed light on five sub-topics as per details in below poster. More info on SPOL 2015 is available at:


May Allah guide us to good gatherings such as these two so that we could learn from the pious and learned and be in a good company. My brother sent me a snippet of a verse from Surah Al-Kahfi this morning which is a relevant advice to us all about people whom we should not overlook and people whom we should not obey. 

We certainly should not overlook these good people, people who organize beneficial events and esteemed people who devote their lives to learning and sharing useful knowledge to guide us to the straight path. Clearly, they are people who call their Lord in the morning and evening, seeking His pleasure. We should not overlook them in favor of seeking the splendor of the worldly life. And we should not obey those who are heedless, who follow their desires.

It's year end, it's the holiday season, so instead of going for a heedless vacation, feeding our senses with heedless entertainment and hanging out with heedless people, it would be better to opt for the two events mentioned above. Insha Allah.

"Keep yourself content with those who call their Lord morning and evening, seeking His pleasure, and let not your eyes overlook them, seeking the splendor of the worldly life. And do not obey the one whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance, and who has followed his desire and whose behavior has exceeded the limits."
Surah Al Kahf: 28
Translation credit: Mufti Muhammad Taqi Uthmani/

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Festive KL | Khal is cool


Good evening folks,

I can't resist sharing yet another photo of my beloved city Kuala Lumpur because it's looking pretty festive tonight. It's not December yet but we are feeling jolly already, aren't we?

Kuala Lumpur
26 Nov 2016

Your friend Eza is feeling a lil upbeat, because her guests have just left and they have left her with plenty of cheer and blessings. She is excited about another group of guests tomorrow insya Allah.

I think the two best things in this world are:
1. Having people make duá for you. 
2. Entertaining guests.

Yeah...and add great travels and good food to that list. But then again, we simply cannot count the bounties of the Lord, just too many to count. Subhanallah!

Let's see. What useful lesson have I picked up today that's worth sharing?

Oh...I learned about the benefits of consuming khal (vinegar) which is one of many Sunnah food. We are talking about khal that's made of dates which is rich in Vitamin C, E, B1, B6, Beta Carotene and Vitamin P (Bioflanovoids).
[I didn't know there's such a thing as Vitamin P. LOL.]

Khal (vinegar) derived from dates, is also potassium rich and can help us get rid of fats and cholesterol. Yes, khal is cool! Fahimtum? You understand? 

If you don't believe me, you go double-google (as in double check). LOL.

May Allah grant me and you the tawfiq to be regular in consuming khal -- dates khal. Ameen.

Look out for the Sunnah Food Campaign - Video Competition (SFCVC) organized by Exa Publishing and Al Falah TV. It's open to Malaysians, Singaporeans and Malaysian Universities' students of any citizenship. Insya Allah.

Ah...just a couple more hours til Friday : )

Alhamdulillahi hamdan yuwafi niámahu wa yukafi u mazidah


Kak Hanim: Tu la balik cepat tadi, tak dan tengok KL Tower jadi merah!
En. Jasni: Thanks for quietly following this blog : ) Tahniah! Dah terror archery now ye? 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

You are doing fine, love yourself today


Assalamualaikum folks,
Good morning from Kuala Lumpur : )

It's a greaaaat day, cos it's pay day for many people out there.

Alhamdulillahi hamdan yuwafi ni'amahu wayukafi u mazidah

But let's not forget those who are jobless and struggling entrepreneurs whose business have yet to yield something good. 

The above poster is courtesy of Exa Publishing FB. One esteemed reader of this blog gifted me with a bookmark on which is written those positive words. I love it. It serves as a good reminder that we should relax, rest easy and not be so hard on ourselves. And most importantly, we should love ourselves. We should, because Allah loves us.  

Wish yáll a greaaaat day filled with sakinah and productivity. Cre-ate something cool.
Let's seize the day.
: )


While many of us busy ourselves maneuvering in the corporate jungle, my eldest brother has been busy secluding himself in a jungle on the outskirts of KL. While we busy ourselves cre-ate-ting business proposals this and that, he cre-ates meals for his pondok (hut) neighbors who are also in the jungle seeking solace. Yes, my brother is a good cook. He beats me hands down. He caught a fish from the nearby river and cooked fish asam pedas, chicken rendang and fried noodles, among others. His "suluk-mates" are darn lucky people! But on a serious note, praise be to Allah, he helped convert two foreigners to Islam. They were there to chill and found nurMasha Allah! That's my brother, he is a real Sufi. I am a fake. And he speaks excellent English, ten times better than I do. LOL.

Ingredients for fish asam pedas and chicken rendang
Neighbors in the jungle.
A bunch of cool solace-seekers
enjoying my brother's fried noodles.
Life is good : )

Monday, November 23, 2015

Viewpoints | Walks of life


Hi folks,

Hope you have had a pleasant weekend. I had a wonderful time in Melaka. [For the benefit of our foreign readers, Melaka is a historic charming city, two hours drive south of KL.] 

I've been there many times but this trip was extra fun as we went up to the rooftop of the tallest building and got to see some great views. Like a kid, I got excited to have bought my first snapback cap just before going up. And was thrilled that the cafe up there served delectable Oyako Donburi. How could I forget that Japanese dish? I first had it on my first date with a Japanese college mate. I was 19, so pardon me folks! LOL.

Just like you, I too have got all kinds of friends. They are from all kinds of background and walks of life.

Even though I seemed to be chilling around like I have no cares in the world - I couldn't help but think of an acquaintance. As I was leaving for my road trip, he bid a quick farewell before leaving for a serious adventure which is unique to a pious group of community known as the tabligh. They are people who would occasionally leave everything behind and just walk for a long period of time. In my friend's case, it will be for 40 days. Some of them would travel to a foreign land for months in order to spread the deen. Coincidentally, I'm waiting for one person to come back from a tabligh task in India, because his talent is needed for a creative job. Many of them are well educated and are professionals in their own respective fields, yet they would regularly devote their time on something useful for the religion, something good for their scales of good deeds in akhirah

So...someone I know was going away to walk for weeks on end. And there I was going about having fun on the weekend. We can only imagine the thought process of someone who's going for such a physical, psychological and spiritual challenge. I could sense from his message a deep sense of humility, fear and hope. Surely there will be trials during the journey which should heighten his level of patience. His dependency on Allah subhanahu wa taála will be stronger. His shukur, I imagine, is so much more meaningful than your shukur or mine. He will have plenty of time for tafakkur and that should result in him being more taqarrub (close) to Allah than many of us.

I asked for a prayer from him. As much as I am hopeful that he will remember to say a prayer for me, it breaks my heart to think that in the difficulties and inconvenience of walking for 40 days, he might on one quiet night at a mosque...somewhere...raise his hands and make duá for me, while I go about spending life quite carelessly : (

But that is life. C'est la vie. The Lord inspires us differently. The Lord motivates us to do all kinds of things and grants us different degree of tawfiq. At the end of the day, He will differentiate us based on the value of taqwa each one of us has.

May Allah forgive our shortcomings. May Allah accept our deeds no matter how small. May He guide us on the Straight Path and grant us a good ending no matter how winding the road is before reaching the end. Ameen.


"The most fatal illusion is the settled point of view. 
Since life is growth and motion, 
a fixed point of view
kills anybody who has one."

- Brooks Atkinson

To travel and explore new places/things and change one's viewpoints, is the way to go.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Where beautiful souls meet | A poem for Mir - a saint and poet of Kashmir


This is a small tribute to a very dear friend, her esteemed late grandfather, her beautiful parents, her other half and her lovely children, whom I have not met, but I know in fact, our souls have met since eternity.

To be frank, I was feeling a little disturbed until I heard her soothing voice and was shown this picture of her late grandfather - a much revered man in Kashmir during his lifetime, and I felt like I have known him forever!

Mir Muhammad Subhan
1901 - 1961
The 5th of Safar has just passed
Through many moons that waxed and waned
since you went away
But only today have I come to know your name  
and set my eyes on that frame

Amazing how souls meet and greet
in time and space so unexpectedly sweet

Need I wonder 
why you look familiar?
why the heart quits the clamor? 
peaceful breeze breathes through
just by looking at you

Ahh...I don't want to leave
this magical space in midair
where the mind can never pinpoint
yet, only mutual hearts could feel

it is where 
beautiful souls meet

Aunty Shab - the love and adoration you and your family have for me, could only mean one thing, that it is this faqir who has been sought out because it is she who is in need to be given such love.
May Allah bless all of you there.

Al Fatihah for Mir Muhammad Subhan.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Blogger over the moon


Never mind that there's something technically wrong about the above poster. Blogger is not under, but OVER the moon : )

I shared yesterday's blog post with a shaykh whom I admire. I had recently sat in his class and I have been communicating with him ever since but I never bothered to mention to him anything about this blog, until yesterday. All because of SFCVC -- the Sunnah Food Campaign - Video Competition.

Guess what he said?
"Is that your blog? MashaAllah. I have enjoyed reading it in the past and found it very witty. MashaAllah there is a lot of good stuff on that blog..."

Apparently, the shaykh remembered reading one posting I wrote about one Egyptian scholar. I sure hope he never stumbled on any of the merepek nonsense posting. LOL.

I also shared yesterday's blog post with a lady whom I interviewed for one of the videos for Al Falah TV. I never mentioned to her about this blog despite the fact that we've become quite close on mutual interests concerning majlis taálim. But because I needed to create awareness on SFCVC -- the Sunnah Food Campaign - Video Competition, so I shared a link to this blog.

Guess what she said?
"Ya Rabb, I first read the blog in 2011 while in Brisbane. Never thought that I would meet the real blogger!"

Her reply and that from the shaykh came in like one after another, within 5 minutes. OMG. What's the probability of meeting two blog readers by chance like that? OMG I'm over the moon.


When I was going for LASIK treatment, someone opined that I should tell the doctor about Lisan al-Din. I said: "Nahhh it's not me. I never introduce myself as a blogger. There are millions of bloggers out there. It's common for anyone to have a blog." But now two years on since the LASIK surgery, I secretly wish the doctor knows that this blog is doing quite well promoting her craft : )

One management guru says: quality is when you do your best even when no one is watching.

I say, the joy of writing lies in knowing that no one is watching me write as I write. LOL.

I know it sounds silly like a paradox but it's true.

I humbly take this opportunity to say thank you for all your positive feedback regarding this insignificant space we both share, albeit virtual, it's pretty intimate, eh?
Ever yours,

Alhamdulillahillazi hamdan yuwafi 
ni'amahu wayukafi u mazidah

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Endorsing LASIK | Sultan Cola cool lah


Hi folks,

I can't believe it, the small sharing I did about my experience doing a LASIK surgery for my eyes  - yeah that posting that is constantly in Top 5 for this blog - has garnered 5,000 over clicks. The LASIK industry should pay me USD 5,000 for the promotion I have done and the ads is still running ya know. LOL.

I discovered Sultan Cola, a cool Halal cola from Vienna at a biz forum in KL last month. That can in my hand is the last one left in the fridge. where on earth can I find it? Hope they have set up a good distribution network in Malaysia by now. It's got a good percentage of black seeds/la nigelle. Love it!

And that blue hoodie sweatshirt I am wearing is only for Alumni of Stirling Uni, sorry ; )
You can't blame me for being proud of it because I had spent some RM200K to fund my studies, ma-self.

Alhamdulillahi hamdan yuwafi 
niámahu wa yukafi u mazidah 

Today, I am a bit under the weather, hence no Bobbi Brown eyeliner whatsoever, hence this somewhat unusual haphazard advertisement. 

OK folks, wish yáll a pleasant day and stay cool lah.

On a serious note, here is a poster borrowed from Exa Publishing FB.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Shout - talk - whisper


A friend forwarded this lesson to me today. It's in the Malay language. I've decided to translate it for you dear readers, while enjoying a slice of orange poppy seed cake. Not that translation is easy or is ''a piece of cake." Here goes:

One muálim walked past a house in which a couple was engaged in a shouting match. He turned towards his students who were walking with him and asked, ''why do people raise their voice when they are angry?"

One of them replied: "We tend to shout when we lose our patience."

"But why should you shout to the person next to you? You could still hear each other well if you were to speak in a normal tone of voice," said the muálim.

The students gave all kinds of response to their teacher's remarks, yet they could not agree with one another.

The muálim then offered his reasoning.
"When two people are angered, their hearts become distant from each other. For them to traverse the distance between their hearts, they will have to shout, else the other person will not be able to hear. When they get angrier with each other, both of them will shout even louder because the heart-distance between them has become farther still."

"What about two people who are in love? They don't yell at each other. In fact, they will speak very softly because their hearts are close to each other. The distance between their hearts is short or non-existent."

"What happen when their love grows deeper? They don't even talk anymore. Instead, they will just whisper. Eventually there is no need for them to whisper. All they have to do is simply look at each other. That is the closest two loving persons could get."

"Should you quarrel, do not let your hearts drift apart. Do not say words that could increase the distance between two hearts and let hatred grow. If you let that happen, one day the distance between the hearts will become too great for either of you to traverse."


La hawla wala quwwata illa billah.

Thanks Sister H for sharing.
Wonder if this actually took place in TTDI? 

Ever yours,

Monday, November 16, 2015

You will be in my heart


Oh my will be in my heart ALWAYSSSSSS.....
Thank you for the wonderful gift, even though I have got my own GoPro Hero 4 Silver already.

YES, believe it or not, the CEO of the great organization where I work, has just announced that each one of us will be getting a GOPRO! [This adds to a collection of cool gifts given in the previous years: iPhone, Samsung Tab and Pebble Steel Smartwatch!] 

Alhamdulillahi hamdan yuwafi niámahu wayukafi u mazidah : D

That is why I have always been cool about receiving calls on work matters anytime of the day, and always ready to open my laptop to craft any urgent letters/slides whatever. Because...I work for a super cool organization!

This song is for my CEO.
[And all the wonderful people in my life.]
[And all the wonderful people who keep visiting this blog.]

But today is Saturday, so I am a CEO myself : P
And my work station as you can see from below picture, is all set and refreshing cos I need to generate some fresh ideas : )

You will be in my heart
From this day on 
Now and forever more

You will be in my heart
No matter what they say
You'll be here in my heart, always....

Ever yours,

Sunday, November 15, 2015

November winter | 6 degrees


I learned a new Arabic word today - shita' - means winter. The word reminds me of a friend who must be enjoying November-winter now. 

Alhamdulillahi hamdan yuwafi niámahu wayukafi u mazidah
Indeed the Lord is ultra generous. This, we all must have noticed in the sweetest little little thing - in the way He teaches for example. 

I first noticed the word shita' used as a caption for a picture of winter. And then I received a not-so-good news about one honorable shaykh being ill, then I started looking up for more info on the shaykh and then I found out about a wazifa he had taught concerning Surah Al-Quraish...then I saw the word shita' again. Ah! Subhanallah

Li ila fi Quraish
eela fihim rihlatal shita'-i wassayf...

For the accustomed security of the Quraish
Their accustomed security in the caravan of winter and summer...


Reminds me of the theory of six degrees of separation - that everyone or everything is six steps away by way of introduction from any other person in the world.

And because of that [ill] shaykh, I somehow managed to comprehend the meaning of Surah Quraish after having read the translation just twice! I think the shaykh must be a wali or something because even in his sickness, he could remotely 'teach' people. Mashaallah!

May Allah grant him shifa'-e kamela ajela.

Shifa' = cure
Shita'= winter
Gosh, the font makes them look the same.


Friday, November 13, 2015

Praising the Lord in the best manner


Alhamdulillahi hamdan yuwafi ni'amahu wayukafi u mazidah

I learned this from listening to recordings of a tausiyah by Shaykh Imran Angullia held at Madrasah Irsyad Zuhri in Singapore, on 16 October 2015, that that is the best way to praise the Lord for His blessings and bounties.

Some ulama said the best phrase of praise is Alhamdulillahi Rabbil Alamin, but majority of the ulama is in agreement that the best phrase to say in order to praise Allah is Alhamdulillahi hamdan yuwafi ni'amahu wayukafi u mazidah.

And when things are not going too well for us, we say Alhamdulillah ala kulli hal. [In case you didn't know this before].

That's all for today. May your day be filled with sakinah and happiness : )

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Idea generation | Calling talents


Good evening folks. [Am writing this on Tuesday evening - it's getting late.]

The long weekend is almost over. As ironic as it may sound, I ended it with a good meeting on work matters. However, if work is something one is passionate about, then it's a joy to brainstorm, share knowledge and ideas until the KL Tower is green with envy, literally.

It's not that easy to attract bright talents to work and/or collaborate with you. Often times I have to use my Libra charm and diplomacy to get them to convene at my Soho for a creative discussion. 

Alhamdulillah, tonight, I was lucky to have met a couple of bright minds who freely shared their knowledge and experiences. It's interesting to see how unique a person's career path is. It is true that when Allah gives you a job, no matter how irrelevant it may seem to you or how unsatisfied you are about it, at the time, it's proven over and over again that whatever work/gigs He has destined for you, is actually meant to train you for something bigger in the future. 

Err...what I am trying to do here is post an advertisement of some sort LOL. If you are passionate about the creative world, if you think you've got something to offer in the creative field e.g. arts, graphics, writing and design, animation etc. you should consider meeting me for a fun and exciting two-way brainpicking session. But of course you must agree with the premise that one cannot possibly use up creativity because the more you use, the more you have. And that the more you unload your knowledge, the more space you'll create for new knowledge to be deposited in you.

Because the boss and team at Exa Publishing is such an interesting bunch [heh...heh...] you'll go home with plenty of food for thoughts, in exchange for your contribution towards idea-generation. Everyone benefits from the spirit of give-and-take. Of course.

That's a saying by Winston Churchill

Wish yáll a productive Wednesday.
The expert says, Wednesday is the day when everyone is at their peak-performance.

As ever,
Ever yours,

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Make the most of everything | Lights of Love


Goooood Morning folks,
My holiday continues...because it's a public holiday in Malaysia today...because our Hindu friends are celebrating the Festival of Lights, so we wish them Deepavali Nal Valthukkal : )

I have already sent out my Diwali greetings to my best buddy in high school, what about you? How many of you have an Indian girl/boy as your good friend in school? Not many I bet.

Because we are all on holiday mood, because I care about some of you who keep coming to this space every morning for a little something, be it an inspiration or a lil bit of cheer, so here's me and mom sending you good vibes and much love! I mean you...genuine loyal friends/visitors/readers. 
[These category of people are forever excluded: 

Here's wishing you my genuine loyal friends/visitors/readers a greaaaat day and keep smiling : )

Lights of love from
Madam M & Miss E
: )

Monday, November 9, 2015

Succession of little things that are brought together


This beautiful morning, I was inspired to put together the poster below. It stemmed from reading yet another exciting article from Brain Pickings. Yes of course, it's ok to pick another person's brain. I am cool about people picking my brain should they find any worth in it. I was watching a documentary on Steve Jobs yesterday and saw how he sort of picked an idea from Xerox re constructing a computer mouse. Brain pickings are common.

Click on pic to enlarge
Oh by the way, when I was at a dawra on Kitab As-Syamail, I heard Shaykh Mohammed Daniel said it's ok to quote from non-Muslims. It's a relief to hear that because there are just too many 'holier than thou' people who think they are the most righteous Muslim and everyone else is just a second class citizen or hell-bound so we can't learn from anyone except righteous Muslims.

Pray Allah protects us from being surrounded by such spiritually myopic people. It's important that we surround ourselves with people who are positive because we are, as the expert says, an average of five people with whom we spend most of our time with.

All right. While it's ok to pick another person's brain, it is not ok to manipulate people to one's own greed or be a parasite or a leech. That would tantamount to breaching the other person's rights to protect his/her intellectual and wealth/property. Those are two of the five objectives of the Shariáh/Islam or Maqasid Al-Shariah, so I learned from my limited reading on the subject. The other three are: protection of one's religion, life and off-spring.


"The great doesn't happen through impulse alone and it is a succession of little things that are brought together." - Van Gogh

We all know that to build/create something great takes plenty of time and takes a great deal of effort. Van Gogh is saying it's not just about making one big effort one shot but it's a culmination of little efforts that are brought together over a period of time.

This is similar to what I learned from a trainer a few months back about the system of success which is defined as having few disciplines practiced everyday. It's about making a good effort everyday and repeat and repeat and repeat....until you begin to see the first spark of success, of something great, God willing, and then still continue on. 

Wish yáll a productive Monday despite the fact that many of us Malaysians are holidaying. For the benefit of our foreign readers, tomorrow is Deepavali Day so almost everyone in Malaysia is enjoying a long weekend and having a leisure time. wonder your blogger friend is not too stressed out and can afford one more rambling here. LOL.

Ok folks, let us all think about the succession of little things that we could bring together towards achieving something great. Bi-iznillah.

: )

I hope I am one of five people whom you spend most of your time with, albeit virtually.
And hope that I belong in the positive category so that I bring up your average score. LOL.
Never mind that makcik (old woman) who considered this blog stupid. LOL.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Spirited Away | Weekend get-away


Hi folks,

Here's wishing all Malaysians a happy long weekend : )
My long weekend will officially begin in a few hour's time and yet half of the cake is already gone LOL. 

Today, the team at Exa Publishing had fun watching Hayao Miyazaki's splendid craft - his mega successful film Spirited Away. The film is loaded with richly colored scenes that are made up of amazing amount of details. On the spiritual aspect, it is decorated with plenty of empathy and goodwill. Miyazaki is a maestro of his domain.

And our creative spirits got invigorated away!  

Blogging away on another pleasant Saturday

OK people, see ya when I see ya ; )


Like a kid, I got excited that my small bunch of purple orchids
match the color of KL Tower
: D
Good nite folks!
Happy Holidays!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Ordinary background | White Fridays


Assalamualaikum folks,
Jumaah Mubarrak!
Wish yáll a blissful day, a blessed Friday. 

Someone mentioned Black Friday to me and I had no clue. I guess in Islam we only have white Fridays. White is good. I learned from Kitab As-Syamail that the Prophet salallah alaihi wasalam favored white garments.

Friday is too good a day to be branded negatively. As they say in Arabic, it is Sayyidul Ayyam and among the angels, Friday is known as Yaumul Mazid because the angels acknowledge the increase in God's blessings for them on Fridays.

This I learned from a Malay blog:

I don't know much about this religion. I am just an ordinary person who merely share what I heard, read or learned. And oftentimes we have to unlearn and relearn. It's good to be ordinary and stay ordinary, I, therefore, agree with this saying:

I picked up this book yesterday at a new bookshop in KL. It's refreshing to see from the perspectives of people who are outside of our field -- viewpoints that are outside our own Weltanschauung. Although I must say I'm also keen on architecture.

Good to be and to stay ordinary. I am just a village girl who grew up in low-cost flats in Penang. My first lesson on determination was when I was 8 years old. I had to climb up the staircase to the 9th floor carrying my heavy school bag because the elevators were out of service and that's quite a usual occurrence. Those early lessons in life helped defined me. I am sure it applies to you too. Our early childhood defines us and not so much the colleges we attended, be it local or abroad, or what car we drive or if we don't even drive. 

Consider yourself fortunate if you have been brought up to be a grateful person, a person who has plenty of empathy for others because you know from an early age how challenging life could be for some people. So our default state should be that of an ordinary person with an ordinary background. 

I must thank my father for training me on humility. He used to own a cleaning service company in KL. He provided me with a big monthly allowance during my college days, but he also made me follow his staff, the cleaners, go on the streets to pick up litters. To this day, the experience remains a good lesson on humility which I fall back on. May Allah bless his soul - my father who taught me plenty of things about life.

Let's end this posting with this gem from Habib Umar bin Hafiz - a poster borrowed from Exa Publishing Facebook.

Wassalamualaikum warahmatullah

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Don't depict fate, depict will


Ah! I just had an "Ah" moment when I saw a documentary (video essay) on the works of a great Japanese animation artist Hayao Miyazaki. It's produced by an English film maker, Lewis Bond.

Miyazaki said: "You don't depict fate, you depict will."

How true! What he said, in my opinion, carries a universal meaning beyond the animation world. Religious, in fact. We are here in this world depicting will, our will, and if I may say, on the haqiqah (reality) level - His Will. 

Fate is almost not relevant. Fate is a past tense, in relation to will. 

Does that make sense to you?

Will is alive, dynamic, active, an infinite variable, an endless possibilities. That is from His Rahmah (Mercy).

Fate, to me, is something that we should leave it at that. 

Fate to me is something you might say when the day comes when this blogger passes on and you see no more postings here. You might say: Ah...that's how she lived her life. That's her fate.

But come to think of it, will it matter?

Oh by the way, I understood one lesson from studying Kitab As-Syamail the other day, that Prophet Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam never said la (no). The only time or circumstance he said la was when he professed the syahadah: la ilaha illallah.

Here's a poster borrowed from Exa Publishing Facebook quoting author Doe Zantamata. 

To change one's direction means to have will. And as a Muslim, I reckon the path of least resistance is when what we will is in line with the Divine Will.

Allahu a'lam.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Grasping the soul of words


Assalamualaikum folks,

It's Tuesday the 3rd of November. Alhamdulillah I'm pretty pleased that this is the 170th posting for the year which means I've got another 30 to go in order to meet my target of 200 postings. When it comes to toning one's writing muscle, we need both quantity and quality.

I completely agree with this saying by Paulo Freire. Borrowed this poster from Exa Publishing Facebook page. One of our team members crafted it. Do invite your friends to like our FB page, if you'd be kind enough to do so. We create posters that are related to the virtues of reading and writing while we quietly work on developing contents for two books. Bi-iznillah. Good contents take time to develop so that people won't just walk or trample on the words. We want readers to identify with the soul of the book, the story and the writer. 

Indeed, good writings are soul-ful. It's more than skin deep. It is deep rooted in the heart of the writer. It conveys more than just words. That which is not written, that which is "written between the lines" should also carry plenty of meanings.

We've got to mean what we write and mean what we say. Only then can we have meaningful relationships, perform meaningful deeds and live a meaningful life.

One shaykh dropped me a line on whatsapp and thus made my day/week. He said: "Pray all is well with you and that you are always in Allah's redha." I said: "Thank you for remembering me." He said: "A good person is of course remembered."

That's a good example of meaningful words : D

Monday, November 2, 2015

Notes from Kitab As-Syamail - Prophet's hair styles & appearance


Assalamualaikum folks,

One talented team member at Exa Publishing has helped me produce this illustration below, showing three hairstyles donned by Prophet Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam as described in Kitab As-Syamail (The Sublime Qualities of Prophet Muhammad) as I heard it from Shaykh Mohammed Daniel - a musnid from Britain. A musnid is one who has ijazah/sanad on the knowledge that traces back to the Prophet salallah alaihi wasalam. In the case of Shaykh Mohammed Daniel, he has obtained ijazah from over 400 scholars.

Know that our Prophet salallah alaihi wasalam had his hair parted in the middle. His hair was wavy, neither straight nor curly. As for the hair length, it's either wafrah, limmah or jummah. To help you remember it, memorize the mnemonic: wa-la-ja. 

Wa for wafrah which is just touching the earlobes; La for limmah - below earlobes and above shoulders and ja for jummah - hair length that touches the shoulders.

The Prophet salallah alaihi wasalam had on occasions (perhaps when he was in battle) braided his hair into 4 sections - two on the left side and two on the right side.


Another note of mine from the class, for sharing:
Did you know that Abu Thufail was the last sahabi to die? He was born in the 1st Hijri year and died in 110 Hijri. Yes, he lived for 110 years. It was Abu Thufail who described the Prophet salallah alaihi wasalam  as "fair, handsome and of medium height."

Allahumma salli ala Sayyidina Muhammad
Habibur Rahman
ada dama yaqun wama qod kan


Should you come across a majlis on hadith, do make an effort to attend because there are at least 30 benefits from attending such a majlis as said Shaykh Mohammed Daniel.

Below is an article of his posted on his Facebook:

🍃🍂Principle of Seeking Hadith: Benefits from the Gatherings of Hadith🍂🍃
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Assalāmu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuhu
In this short article, I have provided thirty distinct benefits that one may derive from the Majalis of Hadith (Gatherings of Prophetic traditions). These advantages are self-explanatory and answer the doubts and criticism that some may level at these Majalis owing to an ignorance of the true spirit and nature of them. By the grace of Allah, Cordoba Academy continues to play a pivotal role in spreading these gatherings throughout the world.
1) Increase the love of the Prophet (salahu alayhi wasalam) and his Sunnah in our hearts because the more you read about him, the more you realize his status and are taken in awe by his magnificence.
2) The preservation of a unique system of transmission (Isnaad) that extends back over 1400 years and up until the advent of modern academia was widespread in the Ummah. Some Islamic texts have altogether lost the oral transmission that they had boasted for several hundred years before the recent neglect.
3) The inclusion of your name in a chain of narration that ends with you and goes back through Islam’s greatest scholars linking you to the most blessed of creation our Beloved (salahu alayhi wasalam) which is a great source of honour and barakah.
4) The entire gathering sends hundreds of thousands of salawaat on our Beloved (salahu alayhi wasalam) every time they hear his name over the course of the Majlis.
5) Establishing a bond between you and the celebrated Ulama of the past so that when you quote something from Imam Nawawi, Imam Suyuti or Ibn Hajr (RA) you are quoting from your own shoyoukh (as you are connected to them through isnaad) as opposed to simply quoting from a book as any other academic would do.
6) Improve the speed and proficiency of reading Arabic for both the readers and those that are following the recitation which is an essential skill for any student of knowledge.
7) The spread and revival of the Isnaad of mainstream Hadith texts throughout the Islamic World. In the South African Majlis people from over 20 countries participated and in many of these countries not a single person existed who narrated through Isnaad. Those who have inherited the Isnaad will return to their countries as ambassadors of the Sunnah and revive the tradition that existed several hundred years ago in places such as Timbuktu, Banjul and other famous cities of Africa.
8) Allow us to appreciate the richness, breadth, and depth of the corpus of Islamic literature in times where people have become engrossed in reading about other civilizations and fantasies.
9) Increase our appreciation of Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) by reading the proofs that the madhahib have established their rulings upon.
10) Increase your knowledge of Hadith terminology used by Muhaditheen when describing the reports in their collections and using terminology such as ghareeb.
11) Develop the time/events management skills that are an essential skill of any dedicated student of knowledge in their search for the Sacred Sciences.
12) Be constantly sitting in the company of senior Ulama for long hours with the ability to observe their ahklaaq and take from their adab before their knowledge.
13) Re-kindle the unity of this Ummah and the brotherhood that all Muslims have between themselves irrespective of skin colour, caste or socio-economic factors.
14) Becoming attached to the Sunnah of our Beloved (salahu alayhi wasalam) through the learning of his mission, his biography, his character, his appearance and all other sublime qualities that he possessed.
15) Earning the great reward promised to the people who set out in the pursuit of the Sacred Sciences.
16) Affords one with an opportunity to make new like-minded friends who are willing to dedicate hours to these blessed majalis. This company instead of distracting you and being a source of remorse for you on the day of Qiyamah, will aid you in worshipping Allah.
17) Learning about asbaab al-Nuzul or causes for the revelation of various ayaat from the Quran so we know the context that these verses were revealed in and are able to rectify the misunderstanding of modernists in their interpretation of these ayaat.
18) Read Ahadith of targheeb (virtues that encourage) and tarheeb (punishments that discourage) that will encourage us a desire to do good actions and discourage us from sinning.
19) Being amongst those who are observing the Fardh Kifayah action of safeguarding the Isnaad of this Ummah.
20) Get used to listening to Arabic while it is spoken or read fast, therefore, improving your overall listening skill which is yet another of the four primary skills required in language acquisition.
21) Learning how the muhaditheen would use abbreviations in the isnaad to mean different things such as ح for tahweel of the Isnaad.
22) The revival and imitation of a practice that was conducted by the muhaditheen for hundreds of years with the hope that through Allah’s mercy we will be raised in the hereafter with those that we imitate as stated in Hadith.
23) Increasing your knowledge of the Ahadith that are weak or strange by reading the hukm of the muhaditheen such as Imam al-Tirmidhi (RA)
24) Earn the reward of observing nafl (optional) I’tikaaf in the Masajid which creates an attachment to this serene and blessed environment in the company of Mala’ikah (angels) that would not otherwise be made available to one had there not such Majalis to motivate them to stay.
25) Knowing more about the Ulama in your isnaad who have preserved this unique tradition throughout hundreds of years of Islam.
26) Improving and correcting the recitation of difficult words that we would not normally come across other than in Hadith texts.
27) A source of reward for the elderly Ulama whom after their demise will continue receiving reward for everyone that studies and narrates through the Isnaad they inherited from these scholars; and the same for you when you pass away.
28) Gathering people together from different nationalities and backgrounds all of whom have one common denominator, that they are Muslim and leaving the company of the Kufaar for long periods of time which cleanses the heart from the filth of kufr.
29) Improvement in akhlaaq, by reading how the kufaar would treat our Beloved (Salahu alayhi wasalam) and his companions and the akhlaaq that he would reciprocate with.
30) Be part of a Majlis which is sought out by the angels and discussed by with your Lord who then forgives you for the sins you have done as occurs in the following Hadith that occurs in both Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim:
حَدَّثَنَا قُتَيْبَةُ بْنُ سَعِيدٍ، حَدَّثَنَا جَرِيرٌ، عَنِ الأَعْمَشِ، عَنْ أَبِي صَالِحٍ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: " إِنَّ لِلَّهِ مَلاَئِكَةً يَطُوفُونَ فِي الطُّرُقِ يَلْتَمِسُونَ أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ، فَإِذَا وَجَدُوا قَوْمًا يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ تَنَادَوْا: هَلُمُّوا إِلَى حَاجَتِكُمْ " قَالَ: «فَيَحُفُّونَهُمْ بِأَجْنِحَتِهِمْ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا» قَالَ: " فَيَسْأَلُهُمْ رَبُّهُمْ، وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ مِنْهُمْ، مَا يَقُولُ عِبَادِي؟ قَالُوا: يَقُولُونَ: يُسَبِّحُونَكَ وَيُكَبِّرُونَكَ وَيَحْمَدُونَكَ وَيُمَجِّدُونَكَ " قَالَ: " فَيَقُولُ: هَلْ رَأَوْنِي؟ " قَالَ: " فَيَقُولُونَ: لاَ وَاللَّهِ مَا رَأَوْكَ؟ " قَالَ: " فَيَقُولُ: وَكَيْفَ لَوْ رَأَوْنِي؟ " قَالَ: " يَقُولُونَ: لَوْ رَأَوْكَ كَانُوا أَشَدَّ لَكَ عِبَادَةً، وَأَشَدَّ لَكَ تَمْجِيدًا وَتَحْمِيدًا، وَأَكْثَرَ لَكَ تَسْبِيحًا " قَالَ: " يَقُولُ: فَمَا يَسْأَلُونِي؟ " قَالَ: «يَسْأَلُونَكَ الجَنَّةَ» قَالَ: " يَقُولُ: وَهَلْ رَأَوْهَا؟ " قَالَ: " يَقُولُونَ: لاَ وَاللَّهِ يَا رَبِّ مَا رَأَوْهَا " قَالَ: " يَقُولُ: فَكَيْفَ لَوْ أَنَّهُمْ رَأَوْهَا؟ " قَالَ: " يَقُولُونَ: لَوْ أَنَّهُمْ رَأَوْهَا كَانُوا أَشَدَّ عَلَيْهَا حِرْصًا، وَأَشَدَّ لَهَا طَلَبًا، وَأَعْظَمَ فِيهَا رَغْبَةً، قَالَ: فَمِمَّ يَتَعَوَّذُونَ؟ " قَالَ: " يَقُولُونَ: مِنَ النَّارِ " قَالَ: " يَقُولُ: وَهَلْ رَأَوْهَا؟ " قَالَ: " يَقُولُونَ: لاَ وَاللَّهِ يَا رَبِّ مَا رَأَوْهَا " قَالَ: " يَقُولُ: فَكَيْفَ لَوْ رَأَوْهَا؟ " قَالَ: " يَقُولُونَ: لَوْ رَأَوْهَا كَانُوا أَشَدَّ مِنْهَا فِرَارًا، وَأَشَدَّ لَهَا مَخَافَةً " قَالَ: " فَيَقُولُ: فَأُشْهِدُكُمْ أَنِّي قَدْ غَفَرْتُ لَهُمْ " قَالَ: " يَقُولُ مَلَكٌ مِنَ المَلاَئِكَةِ: فِيهِمْ فُلاَنٌ لَيْسَ مِنْهُمْ، إِنَّمَا جَاءَ لِحَاجَةٍ. قَالَ: هُمُ الجُلَسَاءُ لاَ يَشْقَى بِهِمْ جَلِيسُهُمْ " رَوَاهُ شُعْبَةُ، عَنِ الأَعْمَشِ، وَلَمْ يَرْفَعْهُ، وَرَوَاهُ سُهَيْلٌ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ
Abu Hurairah (RA) narrates from the Apostle of Allah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) that there is a group of angels who patrol the earth and search for gatherings wherein Allah is remembered and the angels call out to each other, "Come to what you are searching for" and they form a circle around this gathering that reaches to the sky. When this gathering disperses, they return to the sky where they are questioned by Allah Ta’ala, although (who is All-knowing): Where have you come from? They reply: We come from a gathering of your servants who are engaged in Tasbeeh, Takbeer and Tahmeed. Allah Ta’ala asks them: Have they seen Me? The angels reply: No. Allah Ta’ala asks: And what if they had seen me? They reply: Then they would have engaged even more excessively in Your Ibadah and in glorifying of you. Allah Ta’ala says: What are they asking for? They reply: They ask of you Jannah. Allah Ta’ala then asks: Have they seen Jannah? The angels reply: No. Allah Ta’ala asks: And what if they had seen Jannah? They reply: Then they would have been even more desirous, eager and keen for it. Allah Ta’ala says: What are they seeking refuge from? They reply: They ask refuge from the Fire (of Hell). Allah Ta’ala asks: Have they seen the Fire? The angels reply: No. Allah Ta’ala asks: And what if they had seen it? They reply: Then they would have tried harder to escape from it and they would have been more fearful of it. Allah Ta’ala says: I make you witness that I have pardoned them. One angel exclaims: A certain person was not from them. He happened to be there for some other reason. Allah Ta’ala says: They are such a people that even those who sit with them (for other work) will not be deprived.
And Allah knows best
Mohammed Daniel
Cordoba Academy