Sunday, July 28, 2013

with every difficulty there is ease

Dear brothers,

Trying time it is now. But just hold on. Each of us is promised of His sustenance, so as long as we work for it. I'm working on it, everybody's working on it. I know it's easy to despair in times like this but know that He would not make us go through this if He knows that we can't do it. 

"On no soul doth Allah place a burden greater than it can bear" 
(Al-Baqarah 2:286)

I'd be lying if I were to say that I never feel like giving up. I do, of course I do. I do have those moments. And it doesn't help when you've (still) got peer pressure around you to act or live the way they want you live. I hope you get what I mean. I know it must be harder on you around your friends too, sometimes (or most of the time). But you and I, we can't give up. You just can't surrender to things that are volatile.

The things that you want, you know I wish so many times that you didn't have to ask for them. So many times, I wish they come easy. But I guess, when you have them easily, you won't learn the value of the important things. For example, your health, you see how Papa is healthier now compared to when he was working his bums off in the office? Value of time, remember that time when we had the cafe and no one had time for each other? Everyday was spent manning the cafe, from the wee hours of the morning right up to midnight. I remember what baby brother used to tell me. "Na, I want continue college in XXX so that I can be close to Mak and Papa". The cafe was in the vicinity of the college. I mean how sad is that? Not to have those comfort at home. Those and a lot of other things.

 Something great is gonna come out of all this mess, trust me. Have faith in Him. These things, they make you learn and appreciate. Imagine having all the money in the world, but your family disrespect you. Or having all that, but during Raya you don't get to see your Dad because he needs to spend the day with his business partners. These are true stories and I don't want all that.

We didn't celebrate Raya together last year. This Raya, I hope that'll change.  

"Verily, with every difficulty there is ease."
surah Al-Sharh

Saturday, July 27, 2013

stellar as it is

I think I'm gonna stick to being single, for now. I kinda like the way it is at the moment.



ramadhan updates

Ah, my favorite day of the week again.

I swear nowadays the days go by so fast, the next thing u know, it's just less than 2 weeks before Syawal come knocking on our doors. I have not prepared anything for Raya yet. Mak keeps on calling me reminding me what not to buy. I guess this Raya will be a little bit different. Definitely not as feisty as the previous years but I'm sure it will be more blessed, than ever.

My Ramadhan so far has been great, alhamdulillah. I spent some days breaking fast and terawikh with my cousin, nephews and niece, some days with my close friends, some days alone at home. But I think the best would have to be iftar and terawikh in Masjid Putra with my bestfriend. 

"Ramadhan is not about eating, it is about feeding"

This, retweeted by Wardina, and I couldn't agree more. It's all about feeding the needy and feeding your soul. Just my two cents worth, sometimes I think this hoohaa of feeding the less fortunate during Ramadhan is kind of over-rated. 'Cos that's about the only time when you see their welfare being well taken care of. What happens to them during the rest of the year? Zakat alone is not enough. I don't have the figures to prove my point but just go visit an orphanage and take their word for it.

Speaking of Wardina, I was watching Nona the other day and they were talking about families celebrating Ramadhan. I respect how Wardina educate hers. What she does is that she instills the concept of Ramadhan being the month with the bigger celebration instead of Syawal. Most of us treat Ramadhan otherwise, right? So on the first day of Ramadhan itself before breaking fast, Wardina has put up balloons and other decorative items in her house as if they're going to celebrate a birthday. I think this is pretty clever. So gonna do the same for my kids.

Alright, I better get some sleep now. Been sleep-deprived for days now and tomorrow I sort of need to accompany someone's mum for Raya shopping. Anything to cure my missing my mum. *sobs* Patience Amy, merely 2 weeks more to the land of my favorite people!

Good night, peeps!

"Faith wears out in the heart of any one of you just as clothes wear out, so ask Allaah to renew the faith in your hearts."

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

aneez maisarah - you will be dearly missed

Who, when a calamity befalls them, (by showing perseverance), say: 
'Verily we belong to Allah, and certainly unto Him shall we return'.
Al-Baqarah Verse 156

I lost a niece today. She's only 12. At the moment, we don't know what would have caused her passing but according to her mum, she passed out in front of a clinic, turned blue and her mum rushed her to the hospital where she was pronounced dead. Sad news is, Monday was her first time fasting. 

The last time I met her was last month. Her family came to KL to send her brother off for college. We met for dinner in Jalan TAR and as always, she will be super manja with me because she seldom sees me. Kak Weina this, Kak Weina that. She would insist to hold my hand and walk with me. Being an only daughter (youngest somemore), her family pampered her a lot since she was a baby and she would get whatever she wanted. She could be mischievous at times (to the point which may irritate some people) but she never mean any harm. 

Her passing is a shock to everyone. I feel sorry especially towards her mother because they were so very close. And her mum is an amazing woman, I tell you. A very patient mother. I pray that they both will go to Jannah. 

I will surely miss her antics and her constant plea to get me to accompany her to swim.

December 2012
After 2 days of persuasion, I finally gave in to teman her swim. Huhu.

Aneez sayang, you will be dearly missed. 


"Didiklah hati, pujuklah hati supaya celik melihat kasih sayang Tuhan"

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

what I want #2 - he who practices Islam

The second 'What I want' entry after 2 months. Click here for the first. 

I have been in and out of quite a few relationships and I still don't know what love is. I used to think that all that matters in a relationship is the chemistry that you have with each other. Like how you can talk to each other until the wee hours of the morning, even if you had to go to work early the next day (and still have something to talk about the next day), like how you were thinking about something and your other half suddenly talks to you about it, or how comfortable you feel just sitting beside them doing absolutely nothing, and still enjoy their company. You know that kinda thing. 

  That's probably based on the assumption or sort of a quote I read somewhere that when you choose a life partner, choose someone that you can never ran out of things to talk about, because in the end, you're gonna have to live in the same house, share the same bed, eat the same food, experience the growing old together. So, I must have been heading in the right direction, kan? 

I found that person. I was happy, and contented. 

But what if, he found the same chemistry, with another person? What is left of the relationship?
Nothing. Kaput.

Let me tell you about one of my role models since I was younger. 

You see, for years, I've observed how my uncle (in-law), Mok Y, took care of my aunt, Mok M. My aunt got married quite late, in her early thirties and they were actually match-made by their families. Probably because of age, my aunt had a hard time conceiving, so they adopted 2 girls to complete the family. It was evident that my uncle was earning way lesser than my aunt, but that was never a problem. I think what makes up for that is his character as a husband and a father. My uncle is quite a joker (and quite a charmer too, I might add), so I guess that balances the intensity between them. My aunt is loving but can be strict at times due to her nature of work as a school principal. They tease each other a lot (I think I'm beginning to have this register in my head. Future husband : must tease me a lot :P ).

So far so good, right? But the one thing that I respect this man a lot for is how he treats our family, exactly like his own. They live quite near to my grandparents, so everyday, he would drop by my grandparents's to check out on them. Every single day. During Raya, he is one of the busiest man in our household, from fixing the lampu liplap outside to helping us ladies with the cooking in the kitchen. My own uncles are not even that 'busy'. 

Now, where can I find one of those? They are of rare species nowadays. Hehe. 

I have a confession. I used to have this mindset to not get married (ever) and I have my personal reasons for that. The last few months has taught me on the beauty of having a family. Having a good Muslim husband, beautiful children and a loving family. Have always wondered how it would be like to be a wife and a mother (and all those maternal instinct you never knew you had). 

Sometimes I wonder what changed, or rather, how it all changed. I mean, the perception. Maybe the more I read, the more it makes sense. Heh, obviously I don't read much. I was out having iftar with some of my close friends the other day. They were the 'happening' bunch, always up-to-date with the latest designer brands, gadgets and such. Usually I would join the hype but I notice that I wasn't really interested this time around. Maybe I was just tired. Or broke. Hahaha. 

 So, back to my post title, what I want for my future, is a life striving for His pleasure, which I can find through a good husband who practices Islam . Funny how this never crossed my mind before. 

"If you love someone, you should protect what he/she loves (dreams, passion, family, faith and the list goes on)" - Hanis Zalikha

Saturday, July 20, 2013

starting off on a new journey

I was just starting my work at the office earlier today when one of my girlfriends sent me a message.

"Babe, I have something to ask you."

That line alone made me a bit nervous, heh. You know like the "We need to talk" kinda thing. So we set a chat date over Facebook during lunch.

"I harap you dah bersedia dengan soalan ni", she said typed.


And continued.
"U dah bersedia untuk date orang lain tak?"

My oh my. I thought this day will never come. To tell you the truth, I never thought of it ever since that fateful day. My focus was only to develop myself. But I was feeling somewhat my old happy self lately,  (this has been reflecting in my work and my social attribute) so I said something along the line of "Yeah, I guess so."

Turned out, she wanted to introduce me to a couple of guys she knew from her freelancing work. You see the things a girlfriend would do for you! *sniff*
I laff you gorjes.

I think I'm ready. Well, I gotta start somewhere, right?

My only thought,
" Anything, or anyone, that brings me closer to God is definitely good."

                                                                                                Credits to Ariz.

Well, here goes nothing.

“I believe that every single event in life happens in an opportunity to choose love over fear.” 
Oprah Winfrey

Thursday, July 18, 2013

2 months.. and counting

By right, I shouldn't be counting the days and all. It has slipped my mind for weeks now and honestly I can't remember what triggered it. So yeah, 2 months now. 2 months of being in a new phase. I ranted (and blogged) about it a few days ago, but then deleted the entry because it was displeasing, even to myself, and I'm trying my best to ward myself off any kind of emotional negativity especially of late. 

Of course I was angry. I was angry to the point of being bitter and my tweets were depressing. Ah, those were the days. 

And now they are slowly fading away, alhamdulillah.

I owe my sanity to my family and friends, really. The late night calls (and on some days, the  really early morning calls too), the constant WhatsApping, checking up on me, the shelter and companionship (there was a period where I couldn't be alone at home), the endless words of encouragement, their constant cheering up and most importantly, for just being there to listen, even until today.

I appreciate those a lot. I really do. 

Earlier today I  read a blog of a single mum who has separated from her husband due to his infidelity (seriously, what is wrong with you men? oops, shush amy). I understand how she feels with the broken promises, the blaming and the excuses, but to raise 3 young children on her own after more than 10 years of marriage? That has got to take more than just self-motivation for it to work out. I respect you, single mums. 

They say the best thing unfolds when calamity strikes and true enough, I learnt so much more about my Creator since then, particularly on the whys. The things we take for granted, in this case, the religion I'm born in. There's so much to learn and every time I discover something new to me, it really does makes sense from the very beginning. Sometimes we can't accept the truth until it hits us in the face.

Still so much to explore for me to keep stepping forward and reach that ideal life. What is an ideal life? I'll probably interpret that as being in the state of peace with your Creator and everything around you where nothing in this dunya should ever matter to you anymore. 

Next step, to practise.

2 months of being stronger.
And counting.

Soulmates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave. 
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Monday, July 15, 2013


Travelling has always been my passion. I guess it stems from the fact that Papa has brought us kids along to his business trips when we were younger.

That's the first brother and myself at Muzium Negara

Yeah, I can be a bit cheeky at times

Genting Highlands

A friend of a friend recently pointed out her opinion that all this travelling is just a waste of money. I respect that she feels that way because I understand that some would rather spend that money on tangible things that they can sort of see and invest on for their later years in life. I guess I'm quite lucky in a sense that most of my friends are who I may call, wanderers, except that in this context they actually know where they're heading to. 

Growing up, I used to shoot a lot of questions to my dad. Curious child, that's me. Why this, why that, Pa? So, travelling pretty much is the perfect avenue for me to curb that fixation. I have this fascination with sights, cultures, architecture (!), colours, lifestyle and people. 

June 2010

Travelling makes me appreciate life back at home. Half of the places I've been to so far are of the third world countries. Why third world countries? You see, I LOVE great architecture, especially those which depicts the culture of the people who used to live in a certain location. Asia is the 2nd location to have the most UNESCO heritage sites, which are mostly located in third world countries, like Cambodia. 

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia
September 2012

"A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place (such as a forest, mountain, lake, island, desertmonument, building, complex, or city) that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance.[1] The list is maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 states parties[2] which are elected by their General Assembly.[3]
The programme: catalogues, names, and conserves sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common heritage of humanity. Under certain conditions, listed sites can obtain funds from the World Heritage Fund." 
Credits to Wikipedia

Prambanan temple, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
April, 2013 

Es campur
A mixture of veggies and fruits. Not so bad, I suppose :D

 Borobudur temple, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

To get to know the different lifestyles and habits of the people in different parts of the world, that's so precious to me. The money-can't-buy experience. There's always something new to discover. Sometimes to take it all in at a go is just too much. I remember the first time I stepped onto the stoned walkways leading to Angkor Wat. The feeling was surreal, it's like having your dream presented to you right then and there. The same feeling I had when I stepped onto Disneyland.

Angkor Wat info : 
Angkor Wat is surrounded by a huge, calm lake, which makes it even more magical than it already is. Honestly, if it wasn't for the unbelievably hot weather, I would actually consider taking my wedding photos here. Breathtakingly beautiful. That was my exact description of it. 

St Paul ruins, Melaka 

  One aspect which contributes to a great travelling experience, is of course, your travelling buddies. I've had my fair share of good and bad experiences having to travel with different companions. That is why I choose my travelling partner(s) very carefully. This is an essential, seriously. You don't want to ruin your holiday plans with someone who complains all the time, do you? I have a friend who started complaining from the moment she is seated on the plane right until the vacation is over. Yes, I am dead serious, and there were only the 2 of us at the time for that travel. Never again *phew* 

 Redang Island, Kuala Terengganu
April 2013

 Universal Studios, Singapore
March 2011 

Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan
April 2012

Ostrich eggs :)
We were told that the bigger an animal's egg is, the less cholesterol they have.

 Hard Rock Hotel, Penang
November 2012 

Local pickled fruits (?) or locally we call them as 'jeruk'

Language, of course, is the common barrier for travelling if you go to a non-English speaking country. I learnt to say a few words in Cantonese during my stay in Hong Kong. Common words like, "Good morning.", "Where is the toilet?", "How to get to ____?" etc. So essentially, ensure that you do enough research before embarking on your journey. 

Mong Kok
Hong Kong 2010

My very first decent meal after a month plus of staying in Hong Kong. For this, we had to go take nearly an hour journey by MRT and bus to get to Soho. And the name of the cafe is, get this, Warung Malang. A small, quaint Indonesian eatery in the middle of the huge, bustling city. 

Getting halal food in this part of the world is hard. I remember having to secretly get some Pakistani food in a small apartment-turned-illegal-eatery on a 1st floor of a shophouse. I know it's illegal because we were practically ushered into the lift like one of those people who wants to join a gamble someplace no one knows. Kind of funny when I recall the things we had to do back then. Hee. 

Hong Kong's very own tram which runs on tracks. Goes anywhere for $2

No matter how far you go, how many place you've seen or how many new people you meet, as cliche as it may sound, you will never get the hospitality and comfort that you have here, at home. That's something to appreciate about. You'll always miss that nasi lemak, char kuey tiaw, roti kosong, everything Malaysian. 

I miss travelling all the time, but nothing beats the moment when you're in a home bound flight and the pilot announces "Welcome home, Malaysians" 

wanderlust : a crave for travel

Saturday, July 13, 2013

finding your home among sisters

Seek and you shall find.

A fortnight ago, I had the pleasure of attending the 2nd Being Me sisters-only conference held in Putrajaya International Convention Centre.  My first time to an Islamic conference and I have to say, I'm lucky despite purchasing the (sold-out) ticket last minute and had that last minute ticket bought by someone else just a day before the event, I managed to get a new ticket on the day of the event itself. Alhamdulillah.

Among the speakers for the event were Aizuddin Othman, Prof Dr. Muhaya, Br. Yusha Evans, Sis. Zohra Sarwari, Sis. Tasneem Ghauri, Prof. Dr. Zaleha. Sh. Alaa ElSayed including spoken word performance by bloggers Sis. Yasmin Zaini and Sis. Mubina Shafqat Ali. Sheikh Tawfique Chowdhury was also supposed to join us but his wife was in labor that very morning, so he couldn't make it.

Basically, Being Me - Muslimah Empowered, is a conference organised by women for women and is also the first women's conference in Malaysia by Mercy Mission to address the daily lives and challenges facing the Muslim women today. Yeah, the introduction taken from the booklet for the event >.<

Just to share some knowledge I've gained (or some notes I scribbled) during the conference (you know, cos Twitter only has a limit of 140 characters, so blog it is).

The most valuable part of the day is the last 5 minutes before you go to sleep, because that should be the time that you reflect on yourself, what happened during the day and what are you going to do about it the next day.

To have a good partner, you need to learn to forgive. Those who are not able to forgive themselves will not be able to forgive others.

The 2 most important days in a man's life is the day you were born and the day you discover why you were born.

Whatever you do, you get back.

The 4 stages in a man's life :
1) athletic - the stage where we often worry about how we look
2) warrior - the go-getter stage, always fighting to be the best (stressful stage)
3) wisdom/adventurer - the best stage, where we're physically tired, but spiritually enlightened
4) enlightenment - there's only Allah in our heart and we detach ourselves from whatever outcome. At this stage, we're independent of the opinion of others. Nice.

Remedy to suppress anger :
1) Accept others for what they are
2) Correct your mind, not other people

There's a session by Prof Dr Muhaya on 'Garment for One Another'. Silly me to be thinking that the talk was about how to dress appropriately as a muslimah. Turned out it's about spouses being the perfect complement for each other, providing comfort, protection, cover and support. Just like our garments. The title is so cool like that, kan?
So there's 2 types of garments :
Out-in : They appear as any other normal couple, but deep down, they are not happy (mediocre living)
In-out : To live inside out, more focused on developing themselves to achieve the state of being perfect garments for each other.

If you're busy looking at others, you'll never look at yourself.

75% of sickness comes from the mind.

Life is a self-fulfilling prophecy
(this leads to the law of expectation)

Prof Dr Muhaya suggested a book entitled 'Biology of Belief'. I scribbled 'LOOK OUT FOR THIS BOOK!' in my notes, so ....

Until you are in Allah's zone, you will never find peace and happiness.

To have inner peace for you to get a good garment, you need to be able to :
1) be inspired
2) forgive
3) abundance
4) spiritual connection with Allah

Difference between motivation and inspiration?
Motivation - To have a motive for your action and in return, you get rewarded.
Inspiration - Finding meaning in everything that you do.

Successful people make choices, committed people do whatever it takes.

Children within the year of :
0-7 -> sponge mode; absorb everything they see
7-14 -> role-modelling after who/what they see

Put children in good environment, like stem cells.


Point to remember, sisters :
How do we dress? Are we with Allah all the time?

For every 1 patient a doctor treats, 17000 angels (malaikat) pray for you.

Cancers are made out from people who worry a lot.

3 types of aura :
spiritual - with Allah
emotional - love, kindness, joy, generosity

Seretonin - hormone for happiness. Nice.

Those who show do not have, those who know do not know.
Reflect on this.

Forgiveness strengthens you, Anger weakens you.

2 thieves in life :
1) fear of tomorrow
2) regret of the past

Untuk mencari redha Allah, you need to :
1) be specific - to have a good career, a good muslimah
2) be focused -  on your dakwah Islamiah
3) have unwavering faith - keyakinan yang tak putus-putus
4) have deepness of gratitude - choose your thoughts

Istiqamah of being good :
1) niat
2) good friends
3) good journal - finding knowledge non-stop

"If he's really serious, he'll ask your Dad"
That's a good one.

A woman is half of an ummah, and she gives birth to the other half of the ummah.
So, she is the whole of an ummah.

So, that's about it. Honestly, I never would have thought that I would be able to convince myself to attend one of these conferences, at least not yet. But you know, life has its points and its turnings, and I am forever thankful for this nudge to this direction. Weird thing is, I realize that the more I learn, out of nowhere, friends (and even strangers) came and share knowledge and experiences and guidance. Masha Allah, He who listens and knows all things (Quran 2: 256)

Okay, this entry is getting pretty lengthy now so I'll just include some photos that I managed to capture during the event.

And finally,

Me and my best friend, Azlene, who's also a volunteer for the event. 

Miracle: something or someone that fills our heart with joy
Paolo Coelho

Saturday, July 6, 2013

renewed faith

My favorite part of the day. Midnight. Especially on a Friday. 

"There's always something about Friday nights and adrenaline rush". 

My tweet earlier. Well yeah, 'cos I was driving on the highway with the windows rolled down and that brush of air while you're driving at high speed,  makes you feel alive. Not that I'm promoting that need for speed, of course. Hey it was still within the speed limit (i think). AND I wasn't tweeting while driving. Honest!

Anyways, one of my best friends, Nas, got engaged to her Mister Dinosaur today (yeap, that's what she calls him. hehe. i think it's cute). She's in Kuching and I was so disappointed that I couldn't be there with her on her special day. Couldn't get the day off from the boss. Boo. But whatever it is, I am so happy for her on this big step. I mean, I've known Nas since primary school, for goodness sake. And while we weren't that close in school, we met again lots of years later in KL of all places and became the best of friends since then. She is a big part of my life. She introduced me to MIFA, how's that?!?  :')

For Nas to have taken this big, bold step of moving on to another level, and being casual about it is something I must say I respect. To me, this shows a level of maturity because it is a decision that affects not only her alone, but her family and his family as well. Well, I don't know Mister Dinosaur personally (though I intend to give a personal speech to him on how to make Nas happy :P ) , but from Nas's stories, I think he will make a good husband. Anyhow, there's this surah, surah an-Nur ayat 26 which states that 

"Perempuan yang jahat untuk lelaki yang jahat dan lelaki yang jahat untuk perempuan yang jahat. Perempuan yang baik untuk lelaki yang baik dan lelaki yang baik untuk perempuan yang baik." 

and I firmly believe that Mister Dinosaur is indeed lelaki yang baik.

Thing is, life has this wonderful way of unfolding itself. Some call it luck, others may call it fate. Muslims, like myself, call them Qada' and Qadar. I know sometimes we're presented with choices that we don't understand and we wonder what He is trying to tell us. Yeah it's funny at times but having to go through a bad break-up recently, it actually gave me a renewed sense of faith that everything is the way it should be. Indeed He knows what's best for us. Allah is great and He loves us so very dearly. We just need to have faith and of course coupled with our own effort. That's what I feel anyways. 

 And speaking of marriage, honestly I've always wondered what does it mean when they say "To enter a marriage in the name of Allah." What I used to think is that, I thought you get married in the name of love, so how can you get married if you don't love the person you're marrying? How do you do it in the name of Allah? I mean, yes you can say it aloud, I'm marrying him/her in the name of Allah but how do you justify it with your actions? Been thinking about this for quite a long time now and I think I may have found the answer in this video.

Sending a lot of love over from KL, Sweetheart. You deserve each other. And I will see you real soon!

"He found you wandering"
That is, lovingly seeking God. So He guided you and the creation to Him.
Habib Ali al-Jifri

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

moments of impact

I was watching 'The Vow' (starring Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams) last night and there's this one scene that was so close to my heart. 

It's like being transported back into time. 

"These moments of impact, these flashes of high intensity that completely turn our lives upside down, actually end up defining who we are"

Yup, that's taken from this movie. 

The photo up there, it reminded me of the end of a beautiful relationship, but most importantly, the start of a relationship even more beautiful it feels like being in paradise. 

May Allah bless you, Amin.