Wednesday, July 27, 2016

I'm possible | Think big


This is a special shout out to my niece S who has been scoring big in her college exams each and every semester, masha Allah : D

A dean's lister she is almost every term. Even if she missed it, it's just by 0.8 or less! I am so very proud of her. Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah. Seeing her doing well is a constant "lesson" for me and my family because when S was in primary school, she was way behind in her studies. We never really expected her to come out so strong. There were times when we even joked about the kind of job she might end up doing. LOL. Shame on me, Maths was impossible for me, yet it's super easy for S. She sure is possible. 

We all are possible even if people think otherwise. I remembered about ten years ago, one of the "bosses" thought I was a liability to my team. I hope somebody tells him that I'm now an asset, he might not know cos he quit the race.

What is the lesson here? Methinks, it's part effort and part Allah's decree to grant success to anyone He wishes.

Yes, I'm possible. Me!

Think big! The future is yours to create.

Because some of you have requested to see more of me here on this space, so here I am. I missed you too. I missed this space too!

S - glad you enjoyed and were inspired by the Japan-trip reward!  

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Reminisce | Golden guests


Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah

I am gratified to be playing host again. This posting is especially for them. I say a big thank you to my golden guests : )


We are still in Syawal celebratory mood, aren't we? Yes at least in KL Malaysia. And I reminisce the wonderful moments with the children of my kampung in Gelugor Penang. Why not have another balik kampung gathering again soon in sha Allah ; )

Gelugor girl
"The ornament of a house 
is the guests who frequent it."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


Pardon me, I can't get enough of the classic Raya (Eid) songs written by Brother Yusnor Ef.
Here are two more : D

This one was written when I was 3 years old!

Banyaklah orang menghias rumah
dihias dengan si bunga-bunga
untuk menyambut hari mulia
sepurnama kita telah berpuasa...

Jangan Cik Abang bersendirian
senangkan hati carilah teman 
di hari ini hari gembira
bukanlah hari untuk berduka

: )

Friday, July 22, 2016

Happy Friday | Hello World!


Good Morning.
It's Fridayyyy : )

I thought of touching this space with some positivity and happy vibes on this special day. Thus, I crafted that poster above. Happy to be creative, as always.

But... I gotta get back to my research work. You know, there are times you have to be quiet and invest your time on great stuffs for the future. Being quiet to the outside world could prove to be a good investment. Seclusion is the way to go before the Lord says: it's time to come out and say Hello World!

Ok tata for now, be sure to take on the world your way and love your day :)

- E. Ismail

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Be Adaptive, Progressive and Religiously Resilient


To be honest, even as I am busy reading and doing research work on one of my projects, my mind keeps lingering on the beautiful Ramadan mornings and evenings spent at Masjid Al Falah near Orchard Road Singapore.

How I wish my present dwelling place is a mere 20 steps away to a modern mosque such as Al Falah, yes as close as the hotel where I was staying. Ahh...someday bi iznillah.

Here are three key messages from the mosque. Excuse me the photos are not so sharp but the messages are pretty darn sharp and smart!

Let us be adaptive!

Let us be progressive!
[No that's not me in the pic]

Let us be religiously resilient!

The Al Falah Mosque in Singapore is sure is visitor-friendly.

Lost & Found notice at Al Falah Mosque
and they even had this message on that screen:
"Thank You for choosing Masjid Al Falah"
I say: The pleasure was all mine : )

Hope you have had a pleasant and productive weekend. I am so very pleased that this is the 100th posting for this year. A little slow this year because we have got a big project to carry out and pray the benefits from that would spread to even bigger audience in sha Allah.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Prof Maznah Ismail on the scientific aspects of habatus sauda (black seeds)


Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah. Thank God for all the wonderful friends and acquaintances in our lives.

Prof Maznah is an old friend. We used to meet at majlis taรกlim in KL many years back, we had only resumed communication several months ago when she wanted to visit Muslims in China, googled about it and came across my blog posting on China. I would not have known about her intellectual activities had I not mentioned to her my project on the Sunnah Food Campaign Video Competition (SFCVC). That's when she volunteered to share her research findings on black seeds.

So here it is. Let's listen to the expert.


Important takeaway from  this video:
Buy/consume habatus sauda that is light yellow (lighter colors) and not blackish. The brand of black seeds produced by Prof Maznah is extracted using high technology to avoid oxidization.

We have to be a smart consumer, folks.

Saturday, July 9, 2016



Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.
It's sad to have to leave my Penang home. I miss this spot the most ๐Ÿ‘‡

However, I am certainly grateful and happy to be back in KL. It's amazing how different places, time and circumstances make us feel and behave differently. All the Eid memories aside, it's time to get back to work.

Got home in KL and have ketupat & rendang (Malay traditional Eid meals)
delivered to the house.
Syawal Kareem ๐Ÿ˜‡

Oh...did I tell you Beta is one of my nicknames? Heh...heh...Beta has a bakery in Singapore!

LOL. Just kidding.
But who knows? One fine day. In sha Allah. Bi iznillah.

OK folks.
See ya on Monday.
Let's enjoy the rest of the weekend ๐Ÿ˜Ž

WaSalamualaikum warahmatullah.


Friday, July 8, 2016

Eid Reflections


Eid is also about caring for the elderlies whose Eid celebrations are not as festive as that of most other people. Joy and merry-making during Eid gatherings is of course a gift from Allah. So is a moment of awakening on the realities of life and the kind of life some people live. Not that they are worse off or we are better off, for we know not the secrets or the real value which Allah hides behind a person's state of affairs. 

On the second day of Syawal, while many of us put on a beautiful dress, take more selfies/wefies as we visit our friends/families and eat and drink excessively....I came across a man who fell asleep on a wheelchair at a market.

2nd Syawal 1437 Hijri - Penang
On the second day of Syawal, while many of us put on a beautiful dress, take more selfies/wefies as we visit our friends/families and eat and drink excessively....I met a 90 year old woman who was busy selling vegetables at a market and began the Syawal fasting already. In the afternoon, once she's done selling her produce, she teaches Quran recitation to children. She is a glutton for work and good deeds whereas we eat like a pig. 

2nd Syawal 1437 Hijri: Business-as-usual for this 90 year old woman
- Quran Teacher/Greengrocer - and fasting!
On the third day of Syawal, while many of us put on a beautiful dress, take more selfies/wefies as we visit our friends/families and eat and drink excessively....I met a man who was alone, who could hardly walk, let alone ride his old motorbike to visit the graves of his relatives as he had originally planned. He proudly told me about his new Eid shirt which he's yet to wear, only one shirt and a pair of trousers which he has been keeping underneath a couch. He actually sat on them so he need not iron them. How many Eid outfits have I got? How many Eid outfits have you got? 

Eid outfit kept underneath a couch
We busy ourselves whatsapp-ing and browsing the internet. He busies himself marking the calendar so he wouldn't miss his hospital appointments. Imagine him, living alone, embracing each day without having much activities except taking care of himself: cooking a pot of fish soup that could last for three days; repeat the routine and cross off the day.  

May Allah grant all of them sihah wal afiah. May Allah grant them a better health and a fulfilling life. May Allah grant them husnul khatimah
May Allah grant us the tawfiq to contain our ego, pride, greed and selfishness.
May Allah grant us the strength to assist those who are not as strong or as privileged as we are.
Aslahallahu umural Muslimin
May Allah improve the affairs of the Muslimin.

Note to our foreign readers:
This is an old Malay Eid song showing much empathy to those who are less fortunate and those who have undergone a sad experience, encouraging them to have more patience. It's one of many popular evergreen Eid songs written by Mr Yusnor Ef whom I met on a plane two weeks ago.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

1st Syawal 1437 Hijri/2016 | The joy of innocence


YaHuuuu.... thank God for such a wonderful Eid-ul Fitri. Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah. All my guests have left and I am left with plenty of feel-good hormones : D

I wish we could start the Eid party earlier, as soon as the Eid solat was over because the kids were all so eager to come even though we had a special bunting indicating the party hours. 

Anyhow here is a snapshot of the unforgettable moments. This posting is especially dedicated to my young guests. I showed them their pics from last year's Eid and they expected more! Therefore, for this year's Eid gathering at my humble abode, I have got to post more photos for their sake or they might complaint.

She felt honored as she was first to arrive and first to sign the Guest Book.
Each young visitor was asked to write their name, ambition and age.

Everyone seemed to enjoy holding the bubble speech props. Adults too.
Credit goes to my team mate Hana who handled the design work.
One of them was brave enough to quietly approach me asking for an extra chicken drumstick LOL.

They came in pairs. 
He must have been very regular in his terawih prayers
cos the moment his buddies saw the choices for bubble speech props,
they picked this one for him cos he deserved it!

The boy on the right had one hand on his money pouch in case someone steals it. LOL
Glad most of them ate more food this time. 
Lovely "green family" who lives one block behind mine and I would never know them if not for the Raya open house.
This time their mother joined in. According to the mother, since last Raya/Eid, the girls especially Zuana kept asking her to drive by my house at every opportunity cos she missed me!
Most of the children didn't quite understand why they only got to see me once a year during Eid.
They should know that I gladly dedicate the 1st of Syawal to them, year in year out. Even if I was destined to live abroad, I pledge to be in Gelugor on the 1st of Syawal every year bi iznillah ๐Ÿ˜‰  
The bunch who hung around the longest : )
This boy got teased pretty bad cos he made a special request to take another photo with me on top of the group photo.
The loudest bunch!
Enjoying the popsicles. Some begged for one more. LOL.
Glad we made the 'Place your shoes here'' sign which  was especially helpful for the bashful kids who were not sure what to do as they entered. It was fun seeing how the kids carried themselves.
We have got two boys wanting to be a boxer.
No one had it as an ambition last year. It's amazing the kind of impression the late Muhammad Ali had left on us all. 
They came back for the second time bringing another two siblings.
On the second visit, the boy was brave enough to tell me "I want to take away one ice cream for my younger sister who's at home''

Teh Tarik popsicle was a hit!
We who love taking Wefie especially the girl in peach scarf.
The most timid girl.  She came alone quietly and hesitantly to sign the guest book and then left.
We saw her brother waiting for her on a motorbike at a distant.
  The only person who did not even want to enter the house.
The most confident 12 year old girl who visited. She came alone too.
Seen here writing the guest book. Her ambition is to be a pilot.
She will enroll in a sports school specializing in bowling.
I love her matching outfit and that backpack says 'Play no more!'
The prettiest pose of all. We have got two people wanting to be air stewardess. I bet the girl in orange is one of them.
The boy in peach outfit asked me: ''Do you have 'open house' everyday or only on Hari Raya?"
Some of them came from Batu Uban (a village neighboring Gelugor) on a bike. Five on a bike! But their brother was clever enough to take the safer short cut route.  
Was impressed that the girl in orange proudly held the bubble speech prop that says: "I can speak English."
She sure can!
My regular guests - the tahfiz boys from Cambodia [+ 1 Malaysian orphan]
Solehin making duรก. He is a senior student who is capable of handling his buddies at a majlis so their Malaysian guru could spend Eid with his family.
Their presence on the balcony must have attracted a group of pious men who were going round the village making ziarah
I was surprised to learn that the gentleman in the middle was actually the father of Saad Al Hafiz who came to my house on Raya Eve to recite the takbir. Saad had been coming to the house on Raya eve since he was 18. He is now the second Imam at the Gelugor mosque. Saad's father Haji Muhyiddin (center) conducts tazkirah class at the Gelugor Mosque on Wednesdays. He gave us a short tazkirah on the virtues of making ziarah for the sake of Allah.
Cambodian tahfiz boys signing the Guest Book.
My first day of Syawal ended with this last group of guests.
It was challenging to have to do most of the work ourselves and look presentable for the camera.
But it was all joyful. Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.
May Allah grant us long life, good health and plenty of rizq so we could have a merrier Eid gathering next year In sha Allah. Bi iznillah. Ameen.  

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Eve of Eid 2016


Alhamdulilllah wa shukrulillah

To be frank, I am pretty exhausted. Our guests who came to recite the Eid takbir and tahmid have just left. And we are supposed to now prep the house for tomorrow's event.

Anyhow in keeping with the spirit of Eid, I hereby wish you and your loved ones a happy and meaningful Eid. May we all attain true success in this world and in the hereafter.

Blessed I feel to have these colorful and wonderful guests on the eve of Eidul Fitri.