Tuesday, January 28, 2020

"Don't be sad. We have Prophet Muhammad as our leader!" - Habib Syech As-Seggaf at Masjid At-Taqwa, Kuching, Sarawak - 26 Jan 2020


Habib Syech As-Seggaf at Masjid At-Taqwa, Kuching, Sarawak
26 Jan 2020

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.

To be frank, Solo has been on my mind for months. My love for the place and our devout brothers and sisters in Indonesia has grown significantly ever since I started following the live streams on  Nabawi TV YouTube channel. One major highlight from the many (many!) majlis taalim organized in Indonesia (particularly on Java island) was the event commemorating the life and death of Habib Ali bin Muhammad Al-Habshi (1259 - 1333 Hijri). He was a prominent Yemeni scholar who authored the famous Mawlid Simtud Duror. The annual event attracts thousands of people and is customarily held at Masjid Riyadh in Solo.

So, Solo has occupied a special place in my heart so that it gave me great pleasure to know that a contemporary gem of Solo, namely Habib Syech bin Abdul Qadir As-Seggaf was in Sarawak last weekend. Thanks to Brother Rudzaimer, an old friend of mine who shared recordings of the tausiyah on his Facebook.

OK let's hear it from Habib Syech As-Seggaf who is famous for his beautiful rendition of qasidah. It's no surprise that his tausiyah at Masjid At-Taqwa in Kuching Sarawak on 26 Jan 2020 was interspersed with stanzas of popular qasidah such as Ya Imam Ar Rusli and Bushra Lana. By the way, Habib Syech is widely and affectionately known in Malaysia as 'Habib Ya Hanana'.

Ya imamar rusli ya sanadi
anta baqdallah hi muktamadi 
fabi dunya ya wa akhirati 
Allah Allah 
Ya Rasulullah hi khudz biyadi

"Anta baqdallah...there is no one on this earth who is close to Allah except Prophet Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam. Whoever wishes to be loved by Allah, he/she ought to follow Prophet Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam. It is compulsory for him/her to love Prophet Muhammad."

"Qul in kuntum tuhibbu nallah, fat tabi 'uni yuhbib kumullah. Let it be known until the day of Qiyamah for those who wish to be loved by Allah...if you want to know who has won the love of Allah, look at his/her attitude towards Prophet Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam. If the person does not offer selawat, does not follow the sunnah of the Prophet, and is not happy at the mention of the Prophet's name, the person shall not win the love of Allah! Verily, that's the key to love. The tariqah or path that is most rewarding is the path of love. Servitude that is devoid of love will not make one taste bliss."

"Ladies and gentlemen, you have come to this place with love. Last night on arrival at this city, I was amazed. I wasn't expecting such a warm welcome. I was tired from my journey but when I saw the love people showed, it evoked love in me. We tend to follow those who have much love in them."

"Let's consider the happenings around us ...al hubbu... [Habib Syech went on to recite a line from a qasidah by Imam Al Busiri]. Love tastes better when it is tested. How is it tested? Yes, it can be difficult and complicated at times. But it adds to the blissfulness. Some people come here and get caught in the rain, but they still come because of love. If you were to perform your ibadah with love, you would feel the enjoyment as did the scholars and the prophets. They performed solah with love. They were attentive in their solah. Delightful, even to those who witnessed it."

"Therefore, worship with love. Work, out of love. Life would not be as complete if love was absent from it. Love would give the feeling of gladness. Alhamdulillah."

"Why did you come? You probably woke up at 4 a.m or 2 a.m. to make tahajud. Because you love Allah. If you didn't have a love for Allah, you wouldn't have woken up. If you didn't have a love for Prophet Muhammad, you wouldn't have come to this event. Have a love for Prophet Muhammad so that Allah would love us. Follow Prophet Muhammad so that Allah might grant us more bounties."

"There are two types of love: minal muhibbin and minal muqarrabin meaning one who is near. There are people who may be close to us but they are not loved. For example, I have an acquaintance who travels every day in the same car as me, but I don't love him. He is close to me, we are in the same car but I might not share my food with him. Nor will I offer my money to him because I don't love him. He sends me a message every day. He is considered a muqarrabin, very close to me in the car."

"There might be someone outside of the car. He is not close to me but he is loved. Therefore, be grateful if you are one who is both near and loved. You are not only close to Allah, but you are also loved by Allah. That's amazing!"

"If you are beloved, even if you make small mistakes, Allah would cover it up. Bifadhlil, says Habib Ali. Fadhlil. You would receive a preference from Allah. Like a mother who carries her son. She carries him to a gathering and suddenly the boy wets his pants. Do you think the mother would abandon her baby boy? Or would she clean him instead? She would certainly wash her baby, smiling. Why? Because of love."

"The ummah of Prophet Muhammad might make mistakes. We are not referring to major sins here but we do make mistakes all the time. Between the Zohor and Asar prayers, there is kafarah. Between one Friday to the next Friday, there is kafarah. Between one day of fasting to the next, we are given a pardon by Allah. Why? Because of love. Because He loves the ummah of Prophet Muhammad. Therefore, be grateful, Alhamdulillah that we are his ummah."
[Habib Syech then sang a qasidah]

Bushra lana
nilnal muna
zalal 'ana wa fal hana
wad dahru anjaza wa'dahu
wal bishru adha mu'lana

"Bushra lana. Glad tidings! We are of the ummah of Prophet Muhammad, rejoice! We should be happy. None of you should feel sad. The followers of  Prophet Muhammad should not feel sad. Why? Because we have Prophet Muhammad as our leader. The ummah of the Prophet should not be sorrowful because in the akhirah we'll have Prophet Muhammad to lead us before Allah. All the other Prophets will not be able to act as our leader, they will all surrender, except Prophet Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam.

"The Prophet would say Ha ana laha...[as per one line in a qasidah]. All other Prophets would give up. Prophet Muhammad would be calling his people from Kuching, "come follow me", stand behind the banner behind Rasulullah. Imagine that!"

"How do we achieve that? By helping him Rasulullah. By making lots of sujud. By multiplying our ibadah. InshaAllah, we try. We are not perfect. Who is perfect among us? None! Who is able to make ibadah as much as Sheikh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani? Who can perform ibadah like Imam Al-Attas the Sahibul Ratib? Who is able to match the ibadah made by Habib Abdullah bin Alawi Al-Haddad? Who can top the ibadah performed by Habib Ali of Batu Pahat, we just had an event honoring him yesterday."

"No, we can't. But there is one key that could make us belong with them. What is it? It's love! Mahhabah as we have described it."

 Al mar'uu ma'a man ahhaba.

"Man is defined by what he loves. If he/she loves the scholars, he/she would follow the scholars. If he/she loves Prophet Muhammad, he/she would end up being there at the banner of Prophet Muhammad where Rasulullah would say 'ha ana laha..."

"Only Prophet Muhammad could say that. The first to enter the Heavens would be his ummah. Rasulullah will not enter the Heavens until all of his ummah have entered the Heavens. That's how great the Prophet is. Therefore, O people, don't you be stingy in offering selawat to the Prophet. You should make at least 100 selawat daily.

"I received ijazah from Habib Abdullah bin Hamid Al-Attas Al-Habshi from Makkah who said: 'O son, recite this as did my father, as did my father's father, up to Rasulullah salallah alaihi wasalam. Recite selawat dhomir:

'Innallaha wamala ikatahu yusallu na alan nabi, 
ya aiyuhal lazi na amanu 
sollu alaihi wa sallimu taslima'

Read it once and then recite for 100 times:
Allahuma solli alaih....Allahuma solli alaih....Allahumma solli alaih...

"Practice this after Subuh and after Maghrib. It's light, easy and quick. The reward is huge. I hereby grant all of you the same ijazah. Recite at the minimum 100 times. It would be better to recite 1000 a day. Increase it to 10,000 on Fridays. Make it a habit to recite selawat continually."

"The analogy is like me receiving WhatsApp messages from some of you in Kuching. Let's say there is a woman who would send me 100 messages, and there is another person who would send me 1000 messages daily. Who do you reckon would get my attention? The one who sent me 1000 messages, of course."

"Likewise Prophet Muhammad. Every single day we send him selawat. If we were to deliver 1000 messages, he would remember us. There is an angel who would update him salallah alaihi wasalam: "Fulan bin Fulan or Fulanah binti Fulan sends selawat to you O Prophet." So the Prophet would in Qiyamah, remember the names that got mentioned the most. "Come on in!" he would say.

"Don't be sad, O people. We will surely leave this world. Do not quarrel, don't argue about worldly issues. This world is small. This world as described by Prophet Muhammad is like wings of a mosquito. Mosquitos are insignificant. I am not saying we should abandon the world. We may use the world as an instrument to make us reach the akhirah in a good manner. Look for abundance. Give away plenty. Look for abundance. Relieve the burdens of people at large." 

Allahu a'lam. May I be forgiven for any omissions/errors.

Pray Allah would be kind to let me be present at Habib Ali bin Muhammad Al-Habshi's '109th Haul' in Solo, scheduled at the end of 2020. And anybody else who might be wishing to attend. Aamin.

Until then, Solo on my mind.

Pic credit: Bro. Rudzaimer Roza - one student of knowledge I respect.

Tausiyah oleh Habib Syech Abdul Qadir As Seggaf di Masjid At-Taqwa, Kuching, Sarawak - 26 Jan 2020


Image may contain: 3 people, crowd and indoor

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah, kita berkesempatan mengikuti tausiyah oleh Habib Syech Abdul Qadir As Seggaf, seorang ulama dari Solo, Indonesia yan sangat terkenal dengan alunan qasidah yang indah. Terimakasih kepada sahabat lama saya Saudara Rudzaimer yang berkongsi rakaman majlis tersebut di Facebook beliau dan berikut adalah transkrip yang diusahakan untuk manfaat kita bersama bi-iznillah.

Tausiyah ini sangat bermakna kerana Habib Syech telah mengijazahklan amalan selawat bersanad hingga kepada baginda Nabi Rasulullah salallah alaihi wasalam.


Ya imamar rusli ya sanadi
anta baqdallah hi muktamadi 
fabi dunya ya wa akhirati 
Allah Allah 
Ya Rasulullah hi khudz biyadi

"Anta baqdallah...Tidak ada satu pun di muka bumi ini yang lebih dekat pada Allah kecuali Nabi Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam. Siapa yang ingin mendapatkan kecintaan Allah, dia wajib mengikuti Nabi Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam. Dia wajib cinta kepada Nabi Muhammad."

"Qul in kuntum tuhibbu nallah, fat tabi 'uni yuhbib kumullah. Sampaikan kepada sesiapa pun. Sampai ke yaumul qiyamah, orang yang ingin dicintai Allah...kalau kita ingin melihat siapa orang yang dicintai Allah, lihat bagaimana dia dengan Nabi Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam. Kalau dia dengan Nabi Muhammad dia tidak suka berselawat, dia tidak ikut sunah-sunnah Nabi Muhammad, dia tidak gembira dengan disebutnya nama Nabi Muhammad, bererti dia tidak mendapatkan cinta Allah! Itu kunci cinta. Dan tarikah atau jalan yang paling nikmat itu adalah jalan cinta. Tidak ada ibadah, kalau tidak dengan cinta, dia tidak merasakan kenikmatan tersebut."

"Saya minta maaf, bapa-bapa dan ibu-ibu datang ke tempat ini dengan cinta. Tadi malam saya lihat di perbatasan [lapangan terbang] luar biasa. Saya tidak menyangka. Perjalanan saya capek [meletihkan] tetapi saya melihat orang-orang yang mempunyai rasa cinta, timbul pula rasa cinta. Orang kalau melihat orang yang bercinta, dia pasti akan ingin ikut seperti mereka."

"Cuba kita kalau lihat cinta ini...al hubbu....[beliau memetik bait qasidah karangan Imam Al Busiri]. Cinta itu akan lebih nikmat kalau diuji. Diuji dengan apa? Ya, kadang susah, sulit. Ini tambah nikmat. Seperti orang yang datang kena hujan tetapi dia tetap datang kerana cinta. Ibadah kalau dilakukan dengan cinta, dia akan merasakan nikmat seperti nikmatnya para ulama, nikmat para auliya. Mereka solat dengan cinta. Solat mereka khusyuk, nikmat. Dipandang pun nikmat."

"Makanya ibadahlah dengan cinta. Bekerjalah dengan cinta. Semua kehidupan ini kalau tidak diikuti dengan cinta, dia tidak akan terbekali [lengkap]. Dia akan merasa nikmat senang. Alhamdulillah."

"Kenapa kamu datang? Bangun jam 4 pagi atau bangun jam 2 pagi, solat tahajud. Kerana aku cinta Allah. Kalau tidak cinta Allah, tidak mungkin bangun. Kalau tidak cinta Nabi Muhammad tidak mungkin datang ke majlis ini. Cintai Nabi Muhammad supaya Allah mencintai kita. Ikuti Nabi Muhammad supaya Allah memberi semuanya lebih."

"Cinta ada dua: minal muhibbin dan minal muqarabin yakni orang yang dekat. Ada orang dekat tapi tidak dicintai. Saya ada teman dekat dengan saya, setiap hari naik satu mobil [kereta], tapi saya tidak cinta dengannya, tapi dia dekat, ikut satu mobil. Tapi belum tentu yang saya makan akan saya beri kepada dia, sebab saya tidak cinta. Belum tentu duit yang ada di kantong [kocek] ini saya beri kepada dia. Kerana saya tidak cinta. Tapi setiap saat dia mengirim mesej. Dia termasuk dalam golongan muqarabin, dekat dengan saya di dalam mobil."

"Tapi mungkin ada orang di luar mobil. Dia tidak terlalu dekat, tapi dia dicintai. Makanya syukur kalau kita ini menjadi orang yang dekat dan dicintai. Sudah muqarabin, orang yang dekat dengan Allah, dicintai Allah. Luar biasa!"

"Orang kalau sudah dicintai, jika ada kesalahan sedikit pun dengan Allah ditutup. Bifadhlil, kata Habib Ali. Fadhlil. Mendapat keutamaan daripada Allah."

"Seperti seorang ibu yang mempunyai anak. Ibu mengendong anaknya. Ibu mahu pergi ke sebuah majlis, tiba-tiba anak yang dikendong itu kebetulan kencing. Kira-kira ibu itu akan membuang anaknya? Atau ibu itu akan membersihkannya? Dibersihkan oleh ibu. Tetapi ibu itu hanya tersenyum. Kerana apa? Kerana cinta."

"Begitu pula kalau umat Nabi Muhammad ini mempunyai kesalahan-kesalahan. Bukan kita mengatakan kesalahan besar. Tapi di setiap saat kita ini ada kesalahan. Antara solat Zohor dan Asar ini, kafarah. Antara Jumaat dengan Jumaat, kafarah. Antara puasa dengan puasa, ampunan dari Allah. Kerana apa? Kerana cinta. Cintanya Allah dengan umat Nabi Muhammad. Makanya kita bersyukur, Alhamdulillah kita menjadi umat Nabi Muhammad sallallah alaihi wasalam."

[Habib Syech kemudian menyampaikan qasidah]

Bushra lana
nilnal muna
zalal 'ana wa fal hana
wad dahru anjaza wa'dahu
wal bishru adha mu'lana

"Bushra lana. Khabar gembira! Bagi kita sebagai umat Nabi Muhammad, gembira semua. Harus gembira! Jangan ada yang sedih. Umat Nabi Muhammad tidak perlu sedih. Kerana apa? Kerana kita punya pemimpin Nabi Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam. Umat Nabi Muhammad tidak perlu sedih, kerana kita nanti di hari akhirat Rasul Muhammad yang akan mengganding [memimpin] kita mengadap kepada Allah. Semua para anbiya mengangkat tangan, tidak mampu kecuali Nabi Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam."

"Rasul mengatakan: Ha ana laha...[seperti dalam satu qasidah]. Semua para anbiya angkat tangan tidak mampu. Nabi Muhammad memanggil umatnya yang di Kuching, masuk...masuk ikut saya, berada di bendera di belakang Rasulullah. Kita bayangkan itu!"

"Dengan apa? Dengan kita membantu Rasulullah. Dengan banyaknya sujud. Banyaknya ibadah. InShaAllah kurang lebih. Kita tidak ada yang sempurna. Siapa yang sempurna dari kita? Tidak ada! Siapa yang mampu beramal seperti amal Sheikh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani? Siapa yang mampu beramal seperti Imam Al-Attas Sahibul Ratib? Siapa yang mampu beramal seperti Habib Abdullah bin Alawi Al-Haddad? Siapa yang mampu beramal seperti Habib Ali Batu Pahat yang kelmarin baru [diadakan sambutan] hol?"

"Kita tidak mampu. Tetapi kita masih mempunyai satu kunci untuk menjadi seperti mereka. Apa? Cinta. Mahabbah yang [disebutkan] tadi.

Al mar'uu ma'a man ahhaba.
Manusia ini tergantung siapa yang dia cintai. Kalau dia cinta kepada para ulama, dia akan ikut bersama ulama. Kalau dia cinta kepada Nabi Muhammad, dia berada di bendera Nabi Muhammad di situ. Rasulullah salallah alaihi wasalam mengatakan 'ha ana laha...'

"Nanti yang boleh menyatakan ucapan ini hanya Nabi Muhammad. Yang pertama masuk ke dalam syurga adalah umat Nabi Muhammad. Rasulullah tidak akan masuk ke dalam Syurga dahulu sebelum semua umatnya masuk ke dalam Syurga. Ini hebatnya Nabi Muhammad. Maka wahai umat, jangan anda ini bakhil [kedekut] dalam berselawat. Minimal setiap hari 100 kali berselawat."

"Saya dapat ijazah daripada Habib Abdullah bin Hamid Al-Attas Al-Habshi dari Mekah. [Katanya] 'wahai anak ku, kamu bacalah ini sebagaimana ayahku. Ayahku sebagaimana ayahnya, terus sampai ke Rasulullah salallah alaihi wasalam.' Beliau mengatakan baca selawat dhomir:
'Innallaha wamala ikatahu yusallu na alan nabi, 
ya aiyuhal lazi na amanu 
sollu alaihi wa sallimu taslima'

Baca sekali selepas Maghrib dan selepas Subuh.
Dan diikuti dengan:
'Allahuma solli alaih....Allahuma solli alaih....Allahumma solli alaih...'
sebanyak 100 kali.

"Ringan, mudah dan cepat. Itu pahalanya besar. Saya ijazahkan juga untuk kamu semua. Baca minimal [sekurang-kurangnya] 100 kali. Shukur kalau sehari boleh 1000 kali. Kalau Jumaat, baca 10,000 kali. Lisan ini terus berselawat."

"Seperti saya ini sering mendapat berita WhatsApp daripada orang Kuching sebagai contoh. Ada wanita dari Kuching mengirim mesej sehari 100 kali, ada yang 1000 kali. Kira-kira saya akan ingat yang mana? Yang seribu kerana dia setiap hari kirim 1000 mesej."

"Begitu juga dengan Nabi Muhammad. Setiap hari kita kirim berita kapada Nabi Muhammad. Kalau kita kirim 1000, bererti kita adalah orang yang akan sering diingati oleh Nabi Muhammad kerana malaikat setiap saat menyampaikan kepada Nabi Muhammad, Fulan bin Fulan atau Fulanah binti Fulan berselawat kepadamu. Nama yang sering disebut di depan Nabi Muhammad dialah nama yang akan diingat oleh Nabi Muhammad di hari kiamat. 'Ayuh, masuk!' kata Nabi Muhammad.

"Jangan sedih wahai umat Nabi Muhammad. Dunia ini pasti akan kita tinggalkan. Jangan ribut [kecoh], jangan pertikai masalah dunia. Dunia ini kecil. Dunia itu seperti kata Nabi Muhammad, seperti sayap nyamuk. Nyamuk tidak ada ertinya. Bukan maksudnya dunia kita tinggalkan. Dunia boleh kita cari sebagai talian yang sampaikan kita kepada akhirat. Cari yang banyak. Sedekah yang banyak. Cari yang banyak. Ringankan beban orang yang banyak."


Habib Syech As Seggaf tiba di lapangan terbang Kuching Sarawak
25 Januari 2020
[Foto ehsan: Rudzaimer Roza]

Allahu a'lam.
Mohon maaf dan teguran atas apa-apa kesalahan.

[An English translation of Habib Syech's lecture will be prepared shortly, InshaAllah.]

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Masjid Sheikh Zayed | UAE's Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi


I just wanted to record this special memory here for eternity - an unforgettable experience that took place on 9 April 2019. It is a significant date for me personally because this blog was launched on the 9th of April 2009. I was absolutely thrilled that I got to share the wonderful experiences with my beloved mother. It was yet another generous gesture from the Lord.

Below are some photos for our viewing pleasure. Indeed Allah is Beautiful and He loves beauty. Masjid Sheikh Zayed, in my opinion, is the most luxurious mosque on earth. Did you know that all the Muslim construction workers, professionals or otherwise had all observed the daily prayers in congregation, on-site, throughout the construction period? And... the Project Manager was a lady! MaShaAllah. 

Mother & Daughter

My most favorite shot!  

May Allah increase His bounties, indeed we are certainly grateful for His generosities. We are amazed at how He keeps delighting His servants no matter how indolent we are. 
Subhanallah wal hamdulillah wa la ilaha illallah wallahu akbar!

- E. Ismail
18 Jan 2020

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Highlights from the last decade | A mosque and a uni


Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.
We are told, as stated in the Holy Quran, to proclaim the bounties of the Lord!

Of course, there were many bounties in the last decade 2010 - 2019. I wish to highlight just two and both occurred in the final year of the decade in 2019. Both were good examples of the Lord's unexpected bounties, of His unanticipated generosities towards me. And I'd like to think that it has got something to do with doing my small bit for the religion through this space, among others.

By the way, this entry is labeled under 'Personal Ramblings' in case you are wondering about its relevance.
The first highlight of the last decade has got something to do with a mosque.

In a posting made in 2017, I mentioned a mosque in Amsterdam, upon watching a short film on Al Jazeera on how the Muslims in Amsterdam had struggled for 20 years before they could begin the construction of a mosque in Amsterdam. It's very touching. It's a very beautiful mosque, the largest in the Netherlands. You may want to watch the video from my blog post here: 

When I visited Amsterdam in June 2019, on my way back from attending a course at Strathclyde Business School in Glasgow, I was feeling exhausted, to be frank, so that my trip to Amsterdam was just free and easy. I thought let's just get the Google Map to show me which mosque to visit and hand over a small fragile gift which I had carried by hand from Malaysia through London and Glasgow. It's a small habit of mine, to share some Malaysian cookies with mosques/Muslims that I visit in faraway countries. I recalled a couple of challenging experiences hand-carrying fragile stuff in Thailand and the North West of China.

Now back to Amsterdam. So my mother and I walked from our Hotel De Hallen in West Amsterdam following the Google Map direction. The map identified two mosques in the neighborhood. So we walked around 5 minutes until we came to a canal and saw the signage for Masjid Ghousia across the river bank.  

Masjid Ghousia

So we walked a little farther before stopping to ask a local lady if she could tell us how to get to the nearest mosque. In my mind, I was referring to Masjid Ghousia. She said: "You are near, look there it is!" So I turned around following her hand gesture and saw this:


I got goosebumps as I slowly recalled the posting I made in 2017. This was the mosque I mentioned in this blog, about the communities' long struggles to get it built. MaShaAllah!  

In my humble opinion, this is an example of Allah's wondrous ways of delighting His servants. You weren't expecting it and there it was.

The lady explained to us how to get across the river bank. It was just a short walk to the nearest bridge. But before that, we spent some time admiring the mosque.

The mosque was closed at that time as it was early Sunday morning and the next prayer time was about 5 hours later. It's a very beautiful neighborhood. The mosque's design blends well with the surrounding buildings. There was a lovely cafe next to it. We had our breakfast there and continued to admire the mosque's architecture from the cafe.

There's a chic cafe next to the mosque

Westermoskee Ayasofya Camii
was officially opened in April 2016
the construction took only 3 years,
the fundraising, planning, and approval took them 20 years,
the result is breathtaking

The main entrance

View from the side window

It's unfortunate that I didn't get to meet the Imam personally. But I was grateful to know that the small gift I left at the front door had been safely collected by the mosque's committee member and delivered to the Imam. Thanks to Instagram. 

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.

And... the second highlight of the last decade for me was, of course being a student at Strathclyde Uni. I obtained a partial scholarship worth MYR 35,000 from the uni to undertake an MBA at their center in KL in 2018. I should complete my studies and graduate this coming Summer bi-iznillah. I am so proud to be associated with a UK university that has been named 'UK University of the Year - 2019' by Times Higher Education (THE). In 2012, Strathclyde won the same prestigious award so that makes it the only uni to have won twice! In 2016, Strathclyde Business School (SBS) won the 'Business School of the Year' award, also from Times Higher Education.

Alhamdulillah. In line with the uni's slogan - 'The place of useful learning', I shall continue to pray so that Allah would grant me useful knowledge.

Allahumma inni as aluka 'ilman nafi'an.


May Allah increase His bounties to us as we express gratitude for His generosities.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Fab Twenty Twenty | KL on 1st Jan 2020


Kuala Lumpur 00:58 1st Jan 2020


Alhamdulillah it is Allah who creates time and space. He'd let us experience the arrival of 2020.

Like most people, I am grateful for the last decade 2010-2020 and I look forward to the upcoming decade 2020-2030. I have a feeling it's going to be fantabulous, bi-iznillah.

That pic above, as all other nice pix of KL cityscapes : ) was taken by me, a lttle later after the midnite hoo-ha. It was very civilized, believe me, LOL. It was taken from a rooftop at level 42. This one below too.

Between the Kuala Lumpur Tower in blue
to the Four Seasons Hotel on the extreme right
may we see it all through,
for each challenge, let's take it in our stride! 

They say we should "do something today that your future self will thank you for". I thank myself again and again for having started this blog a decade ago. I thank the Lord for His tawfik, that goes without saying. Imagine, if this wasn't created. Imagine if I wasn't brave to embrace the unknown. I rejoice in knowing about 1.3 million 'Bismillah' had been recited by the visitors. Glory be to God. 

Indeed, glory be to Allah, there were times when we did not consciously plan something but He arranged everything and made it happen. I watched a tausiyah on Nabawi TV a couple of days ago, where one shaykh made the audience reflect on the myriad of ways Allah "forces" you to do something or go somewhere.
Lately, I noticed a posting in 2011 on Habib Umar bin Hamid Al-Jailani's tausiyah had resurfaced. When some old postings resurfaced and became top 5 for the week, I would revisit them, so for that, I thank the audience for making me do some revision on past lessons, continually.

Every time I do that I am humbled at how generous the Lord has been all these years. And He teaches us in wondrous ways. One major lesson I learned towards the end of 2019 was simple and rather "old" - to leave that which does not concern you. Old in that we have heard it so often, yet it's difficult to practice. But of late, I was able to better internalize it. I got the hang of it. It's so liberating. Alhamdulillah. 

People's opinions/drama? Let it be.
People do this, do that. Don't care.

I am thoroughly enjoying myself as an MBA student and doing my own thing. I used to be a wee bit stupid,  accommodating people's agenda and vision. But now I only let me be the only opportunist towards myself. Grabbing opportunities on self-development and self-purification.

May Allah continue to grant us tawfik and hidayah. May Allah continue to grant us useful knowledge and success in this dunya and akhirah and bless our lives year in, year out.

Happy New Year 2020, folks!

As ever,
E. Ismail

A lesson on "leave that which does not concern you":