Saturday, May 26, 2018

Allah is "crafting" you





I was in the shower last night when out of the blue, I broke down and cried. Thing is, this whole week I’ve been having some sort of anxiety attack. There’s too much going on in my mind – let’s just leave this part out. So in the shower itself, I made a duaa. Well, an absurd place to make a duaa but I did anyway. I prayed for a guidance and explanation.

Then, I resumed doing my assigned task – the thesis. At one of point of time, I couldn’t get any more ideas to flow from my brain so I turned to Twitter for some distraction. Ha, some place to gather ideas kan? There, someone was asking Aida Azlin if she has any podcast for her talks in addition to her Youtube videos, and so she gave 2 links. I clicked both links but was more inclined towards the 2nd link because of the first topic that I saw on the page. 

The topic was ‘Surah Taha: Allah is “Crafting” You. As we know, surah Taha is one of the most beautiful surah in the Quran because one of Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) companion, Umar ibn al-Khatab (ra) embraced Islam just by listening to the recitation of Surah Taha recited by his sister. And he was just on his way to kill the Prophet when he heard this recitation, masyaallah. How amazing that a cold heart can turn soft just by listening to the verses of the Quran, and how even more amazing that all of this can only happen by His mercy. Looking at this small fraction of the story, one can easily conclude that when Allah plans something for us, we are actually set to be on a specific role in our life, with a specific and intended purpose. Look at where Umar ranks in Islam and how enormous his role is in spreading this beautiful religion. Of course this was not achieved easily if it weren’t for the challenges that Allah has intended for him since Day 1.

Back to the podcast (haha!), Aida and Mariama started with the story of Prophet Musa a.s walking in the dessert with his family when he saw a fire ahead of them. He then told his family to stay put and that he would investigate what the fire was all about. When he came, Allah spoke to him and the first thing Allah asked Prophet Musa to do is to remove his sandals. Here we see how important adab is while seeking knowledge – or while doing anything else, for that matter. In this podcast, Aida and Mariama have compared 2 similar verses, verse 13 and verse 41, which have same English translation but not exactly the same meaning. Confusing right? But just stay with me.

Verse 13 is translated in English as “And I have chosen you, so listen to what is revealed (to you).” while verse 41 is translated as “And I have selected you for Myself.”. Both carry somewhat the same translation, however for verse 41, Allah has specifically used the word “Tana” which actually translate to “craft” in Arabic. In essense, verse 41 is properly translated to “And I have crafted you for Myself.”

How cool that Allah uses the word ‘craft’ to show Prophet Musa that all the challenges he has gone through, was beautifully molded, so that he can be shaped to be capable to endure such trials? Cool as heck, if you ask me.

Let me quote the beautiful reflection from the ladies now.

“It is telling a Prophet that he has been selected for a task. Allah is telling Musa, his whole life, the series of events he has gone through and all of the different events that led you to this cave with Me right now is all because I was crafting you for this job. The events in our life are not random. They all worked together in some type of way that they are leading us towards our greater purpose and greater goal. Sometimes life makes no sense. You really don’t understand that things are not going according to plan. You need those challenges to grow into someone better. Allah is crafting you and Allah is crafting every single circumstance and situation that He is giving you. Syaitan’s whisper is the loudest when you’re almost reaching that goal.”

Super, super cool. If we think about it, at this point of our lives, we should already be overcoming some hurdles in our lives. If we don’t know any better, those hurdles have subconsciously made us, or crafted us to be better, bolder and more resilient than ever. Otherwise, we won’t be where we are right now. And that is exactly the answer I needed from my duaa in the shower, Alhamdulillah.

The links for the podcast is as below :-

ramadanreminders.tumblr.com

theshawllabel.com/womanup  (where I listened to the reflection on surah Taha)

Til, then, have a good and fulfilled Ramadhan for all Muslims around the world J

By the way, I also write on a new platform now (just 1 post so far haha). Just trying to learn something new (craft myself hehe) and perhaps make myself a better person in the long run in terms of growth. At the moment, it is accessible at https://amyalmohtar.wixsite.com/bestellar if you want to add me to your bloglist. My stories are random but I am trying to write as much as possible like how I used to do over the years. Pray for me, love!






Thursday, April 26, 2018

choose happiness!



My first post for 2018, well done Amy! :P 
Okay, I vow to write more blog posts in 2018 Insyaallah. I write more in Instagram though because it is faster that way but this time, what I am about to write is kind of a bit on a personal level, so here we go.

These past few months have been mentally-changing for me. It has been a period where I have been tested on my faith so much so that I needed to do a lot of thinking and self-reflection. Man, I overthink a LOT and honestly, I think I am having anxiety (!). But I really need to thank the Almighty for giving me this ample time to sort things out, to be with my family for the longest time since I left the house to further my studies, and at the same time, still keep myself sane at the end of the day despite being broken inside. Perhaps this is a reminder from Him that I have strayed away too far from Him and a calling to fix my relationship with Him. 

I have not read my Quran consistently in months and I can't remember when I last did my sunat prayers. To go through the struggle was a blessings in disguise.

A couple of days ago, I couldn't do my prayers because I was on my menses so I was a little disheartened because it feels like I couldn't connect to Him to tell Him of my sorrows. See how I underestimated His mercy? It was raining in the evening that day and I remember that one of the best time to make doa, that is more likely to be accepted by Allah, is when it is raining. I leaned back against my bed and prayed that Allah give me guidance on my doubts.

The next morning, I was checking my mail and I received the weekly love letter from Aida Azlin. This week's subject is 'To The Girl Who Hates Me.' 
You can subscribe to the love letters too, here. A part of the letter goes like this :



Like what Aida said, sometimes we tend to take the easier route. For me, it was easier to believe something which was not true and then build all sorts of negative thoughts in my mind, rather than have a good excuse for it and take a positive point of view of the situation. After reading the mail, I instantly remembered what Ustazah Liyana from Singapore said in one of her talks, "Promise yourself that you'll try your best and you'll work hard. Promise yourself that no matter how hard it is, you will always do the right thing." 

Masyallah, Jannah isn't easy. 

Mister have been reminding me again and again that we have to be strong if we want syurga and that it is not easy in the Hereafter. Why do you have to be so far away sayang :'(

This morning I saw this in Ustazah Liyana's Instagram.


Perfect advice kan? To tell you the truth, I just learned this concept when I was dealing with the whole ordeal. That happiness, really is our choice. When we are inflicted with hardship, our automatic reaction will be anger, frustration and blame game, right? All this negative energy is not helping us with anything really. In fact, it makes the situation worse. But we can make the situation better by doing something positive out of it. If it is something that we can change, well, change it. If it is something that we can't change, perhaps we can change something in ourselves that makes the situation a little less painful. We can choose happiness, if we want to, and to always pray for Allah to guide us and always have good thoughts about Him.

This is also something that caught by eye this morning, by a psychology lecturer.


That practically sums up the answer that I was waiting for. 
About dead hearts and how easily people give up on them. You see, I'm one who doesn't give up on people easily. I always make it a point that however bad someone is, there is surely a streak of goodness left in them. And that kindness NEVER goes out of style. How can I forget these things? Alhamdulillah for these reminders I so, soooo needed. 

I'll try my best not to take the easy way out. 
I'll try to always do the right thing, no matter how hard.
I'll try to be the best version of me and give my best effort
And put the rest in Allah's hands

Let me learn my lesson this time.
I











Wednesday, December 13, 2017

skeletons



The other night, Mister threw a question at me which caught me by surprise and it took me some time to finally understand what was it that I feared for in a relationship.

"It would be different kan if I was a local? You would've said yes straightaway and we would be making arrangements already."

I pondered on that and I realized that, that was not actually the case. It did not matter where he came from, I am sure of that.

"No, where you come from does not matter. It's just that coming to this day is a big thing which I never thought will come. I never thought I would finally be able to be here, you know. Deciding big things like this. Because... "

I stopped midway and choked. At that instance, I knew I was about to let the skeleton out of its closet.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry sayang," 
He said quickly, stepping in as my voice trailed off. Sounds drama a bit kan. I just wanted to remember this moment.

"Because, I was always the second option. The second best. You faham tak?" 
There I said it. Some scars just never heal. They stay in the closet with you until reality hits you one day and everything then makes sense.

The next thing came in a blur because obviously I was tearing up and he was trying his best to comfort me. I vividly remember feeling like I was in one of my religious classes, catching words and phrases like 'what's past is past', 'life is a series of tests', 'you passed the tests before',  'the only thing that matters is how it will be in the future' .. blabla.. Honestly I couldn't remember the rest but I know that it felt like I was listening to my ustaz giving us tazkirah. Actually I never saw this side of him being in his 'ustaz' mode and frankly speaking, I needed that reminder. But the best thing I feel is that there were no words of promises, just reminders to rely only on Allah. 

My weakness in all of my previous relationships is that I depend too much on people and their promises. And as a result, when I get heart-broken, it took some time for me to move on because I was always asking myself what is wrong with me. Truth is, we are all each created perfectly in our best form. There is nothing wrong with us, just some silly expectations that we created in order to have a so-called perfect relationship, when in fact we could channel our worries and hopes to the only one that could make it happen according to our best interest. 

Him.   




Sunday, November 19, 2017

your heart is stronger than you give it credit for


Hello guys! How are you? 

Gosh, it has been more than a year since I last wrote anything here. I miss writing but life just took hold of me a year ago and I found myself pretty much occupied with work most of the time. The days and nights are crazy, weekends too, basically just devoting my life to work. So nowadays I would just upload stuff on my Instagram, which is more convenient :) I miss writing on this blog, I seriously do! Now I've quit that company (yup!) and just landed myself on a new job, doing what I used to do some few years ago but for a slightly demanding client and a more demanding environment. What the cat was I thinking when I took the offer?!? They say be careful of what you wish for kannnn?

Nah, amek kau.

So these days, I'm feeling quite stressed out to the point that I thought of just leaving the corporate world and go migrate to Perth and do something more relaxing, like work in a bookstore, sell something in the morning market or something along the line. I'm not getting any younger so I feel like I should be looking after my health more and feed my soul more with good things. So, while we are at it, if you are someone who lives in Perth and looking for someone to look after your bookstore yada yada, please hire me! :P (not kidding)

On my way to work every morning, I would be caught up in the deadly PJ traffic, so I would have some time to check out my Facebook in the car. One morning, I stumbled upon a video by Aida Azlin talking about heartbreaks. No, I'm not heartbroken or anything like that but the points that she was talking about in the video was so good. Ok, I'll share some bits and pieces of them here:

1. There's no shortcuts to healing but we can all try to cope with the pain. 

Some of us just numb and suppress this feeling, some of us cry to sleep, some of us throw ourselves to our work to keep ourselves busy, whatever coping mechanism that we choose, know that it will only take your mind off your real feeling just for a while. It doesn't deal with the feeling that you have. The only way to deal with the pain is to write it out, and give it time. 

2. Please help yourself to heal.

Your heart is stronger than you give it credit for. While you are still hurting, your heart is already preparing itself to heal, to forgive, to move on. But if we are still picking on our scabs, i.e keep on revisiting old memories, or when we insist to hold on to things or people who are already left, we are being our own obstacle to our own healing. 

3. Use that energy to be creative.

All this feeling that you have right now because of the heartbreak is a form of energy. Use that energy, in a productive way. Don't use it to scheme for revenge etc. Use the energy to be creative. Write it out, paint it out, go run a marathon, climb a mountain. Just use that intense energy to benefit you. Use it to grow into a much wiser, stronger, better you. Like a version 2.0. Look at what Adele did. She made a whole album about her heartbreak and it won her 6 Grammys and made her lots of money. 

Such wonderful advice, right? Since then, I have been utilizing the hours in the morning traffic listening to her videos and that helped me to be more motivated and inspired to start work. Come to think of it, I think this is the answer that I was asking Allah for when I just couldn't take the work stress any longer some time back. And amazingly, most of the times kan, I would ask Him specific question like, is it really my fault or am I being too sensitive? The next thing I know, I get the answers through Aida's video, talking about the exact same thing :)

You are truly all-Hearing, all-Seeing and the Most Compassionate

So guys, if you love these stuff, head over to Facebook or Youtube and search for Aida Azlin. She does amazing videos and she writes about her reflection on life through weekly love letters.

Til then, see you when I see you. Take care and please pray that Allah will make it easy for me in my work and everything else in between. I hope to write more soon, insyallah :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

don't settle


Push yourself. Don't settle. Just live.

I just finished watching the movie 'Me Before You' on streaming. When the movie first came out at the cinemas, I thought that it was just another one of those sappy, soon-you-will-forget-about-it kinda romantic movie. Weeks after that, reviews came about and a few people asked me if I had watched it. Curiosity grew on me and by the time I wanted to watch it at the movies, they were no longer showing it.

The movie tells of a young girl, Lou, who is given a job to take care of a disabled man, Will. Now, Lou is a cheerful, witty and charming girl who is so full of life and so full of potential. Will, on the other hand, is sarcastic, sad and hopeless, all due to the accident that he got into that made him paralyzed from the chest down. Prior to the accident, Will engages actively in sports, water sports, cycling and everything under the sun, which explained how he became how he is now. With Lou's positivity and funny outlook on life, she successfully made Will her best friend, brought him out to see the sun, to the beaches, and then, they developed feelings for each other. I won't reveal the ending if you haven't seen it, because you absolute have to watch it!

I love Lou's character.. She is sooo funny and sooo positive. She stands on her ground, even if she was facing her own employer.. She doesn't give a damn and she is just original.. People like these inspire me greatly :)

Please watch it okay?





Sunday, August 14, 2016

He says YES


Sometime last week, we had visitors from the Philippines at the mosque. They were given a guided tour of the mosque by Brother X.  I tagged along to assist. After showing them how to do ablution (wudhu'), Brother X explained a little bit more about why we need to do ablution before praying. I couldn't remember how exactly the question was from the visitor but it goes along the line of, can you talk to God? So Brother X said of course, and He even answers our doa in 3 ways. 

Number 1 - He says YES and then you get what you prayed for

Number 2 - He says YES and gives you what you prayed for, a bit later

Number 3 - He says 'I have something better in store for you.'

Brother X continued, "Sometimes God doesn't give you what you want because He knows that if you get what you prayed for, you will forget about Him. For example, you prayed for career success. He knows that if you get the career you wanted, you would have no time to do your prayer on time, or you neglect your prayers completely."

I listened attentively and reflected about my past life. My jahiliyah days, so they call it. And true enough, I did pray to have something I wanted so much. And when I finally get it, I neglected Him. I did things He wasn't pleased with. Looking back on those awful times, I just pray that He will forgive me and accept my repentance. 

I remember seeing a video about one of Allah's nature is that He is the Most Forgiving. So in this particular video, in a land full of humans (it is actually padang masyar where we will be resurrected one day) there is a human talking to God, answering to all of his sins and asking Allah to forgive him. But when it came to confessing about this particular big sin, Allah made sort of like a curtain surrounding that human, so that no one else can hear about that sin that the human is talking about. It was like the sin was erased completely on his book of sins/deeds and the only one who knows about it is Him. That is how merciful and forgiving He is.

Anyway, back to Number 3, Brother X explained that sometimes we don't get what we want because He has something better in store for us. Like our health. One of His favors which we always take for granted. I've had good health since I was young. Occasional fevers and stress-induced migraines but other than that, everything else is ok. 2 weeks ago, I have been diagnosed with something . I had to go for several blood and urine tests, going in and out of clinics and hospitals just to get it confirmed and probably fixed. It couldn't be fixed, but it can be controlled. So I am currently under medication until forever, I guess. There you go for not really taking care of myself. 

After listening to Brother X's explanation, I had tears welling up in my eyes. Sometimes kan, Allah really sends certain people in our lives to deliver certain messages or to protect us from harm. And for this masjid tour, I really believed that some visitors are just meant for the correct tour guides themselves. I wouldn't know what to answer to some of the more challenging questions from the visitors. 

Another thing I've learnt is that most of the times, things like charity and volunteering, people usually and generally think that we are helping others out. But what they don't know is that sometimes, we are actually helping ourselves to find our inner peace and to fix our relationship with God. 

I guess that IS the whole idea.