Friday, June 23, 2017

28th Ramadan 1438 H | Jumaah Mubarak

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.
It's the last Friday of this holy month of Ramadan.

One takeaway from the Shaykh on this second last day of Ramadan.
"Don't recognize giving and withholding, harm and benefit, as being from any other than Allah."

Subhanallahi amma yushrikun.

Many of us Malaysians have just performed the last teraweh. May Allah forgive our shortcomings and weaknesses for our deeds can never be perfect. May Allah grant us a long life until the next teraweh in the next Ramadan. Ameen.



Many of you Malaysians must be heading home. Wish y'all a safe trip. I am fortunate this year to be back in my kampung quite early so I have been making myself useful helping around the house. May Allah make us one who is always ready to offer benefit to others, with our talents, energy, knowledge, time or money. Ameen,



Thursday, June 22, 2017

Ramadan Ramblings (again) | Port of happiness

Bismillah.

We are all in a festive mood already here at the "Port of Happiness" - my kampung (village) in Gelugor, Penang.

The highlight is of course great food as in the photo below - a pot of happiness that is. LOL. Scrumptious biryani with tomato chutney. 



Pot of happiness - anytime, every time

Just can't resist another Ramadan ramblings.
I was out and about in Little India in George Town hunting for spice. When I was driving on Queen Street, I could not help but pull over to grab the biryani from Tajuddin Hussain Restaurant. That pot of happiness above is Tajuddin's.

If you are looking for good carpets, Vipin on Chulia Street is a top choice. According to my mother Vipin Carpets was already operating when she started working on Bishop Street. That's like four or five decades ago!

Carpetin' at Vipin
Pomade (hair cream) tubs hanging from trees
in front of the now uber-popular barber in Penang
Son & Dad's
I think I have become the "famous aunty" who accompanies her
nephews at the barber.
I must say the Son & Dad's are super talented cos they
make me wish I was a boy so I could have a haircut there.  

Ah, don't forget to check out Areca bookstore on Kapitan Kling Road.

Areca bookstore - so chic!

Oh, by the way, this year, my guests will receive a special postcard. It's a reproduction of the customized artwork on my wall which I had personally designed. 

Empowering Asmaul Husna
Ar Rahman, Ar Razak, Al Wahab, Al Mughni,
Al Kareem, Al Mujib, An Nafi, Al Basit

OK, folks, I wish you are all having awesome experiences too. May we remain grateful, and may Allah grant us more. Ameen.



Wednesday, June 21, 2017

26th Ramadan 1438 H | Allah Al Hafiz

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.
Praise be to Allah to have arrived home safely.
Super happy to be in Penang early for the Eid holidays.

I sincerely wish all of you who will be traveling during the festive season, a safe and pleasant journey. May Allah Al Hafiz protect all of us always. Ameen.

Our hearts are of course drawn to our homes.

"Life is not in other places but at home, the place that we are sentimentally attached to forever."


Home Sw-Eid home

When in Penang, it's Nasi Kandar for sahur
at one of the most popular resto for spicy mixed-rice Indian style

Only in Penang, yet not all Penangites will know
about this 70s Malay savory buns.
It's called "Cucur Badak Pisang"
The more common Cucur Badak is made of sweet potatoes with spicy coconut filling
but this one is made with bananas.
Delighted is an understatement when
I saw this at the Ramadan Bazaar yesterday.
Not as pretty as cinnamon rolls,
but we are talking substance over style here.  


Allah Kareem!


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

25th Ramadan 1438 H | Be contented with little

Bismillah.

Be contented with the hereafter, for it's a better choice, says the Shaykh.
Be contented with little.
Be contented with lowliness.
Until Allah gives us much.
Until Allah raises us up.
Until He transforms our conditions.
He has power over all things.

May we belong with those who are patient in submitting to the Divine decree.
Ameen.


Monday, June 19, 2017

24th Ramadan 1438 H | Depend on the Empowering One

Bismillah.

The Shaykh gives a strong message as recorded in the video.
We are indeed kernels, we are in the state of darkness (zulma) unless and until we receive illumination (kashaf) from Allah.

Our power (qudra) puts us in a state of darkness. Depending on the Empowering One puts us in a state of Light.



Sunday, June 18, 2017

23rd Ramadan 1438H | He is near

Bismillah.

Allah is Al Qareeb. He is close. He is near.

Let's not forget this as we get hyped up and speculate when Laylatul Qadar will take place. Of course, for one who is sincere in his/her deeds, it's about giving one's best-effort every day and night. Allah knows we are weak, our faith and ibadah fluctuate. Hence, "If I should err, I would only err against myself. But if I am guided, it is what my Lord reveals to me. Indeed, He is hearing and near." (Quran 34:50)    

May Allah grant us the capacity to realize and feel how close He is, at all times. Ameen. Should we attain the station of constant nearness to our Lord, it would be like Laylatul Qadar every night, perhaps?

There's one most oft-quoted Sufi phrase: He who knows himself knows His Lord. Yes, but in the Quran we are told to say: "Allah knows me better than I do." And, what do we do with people who think they know us better? Ignore, cos they must be ignorant. Yes, believe it or not, there's one "holier-than-thou" person who actually told me I should change my name! 

Allah...Allah... 
No, not changing my name. May Allah grant me more izzah (power, might, honor and respect). May Allah honor me and you (who have sincere hearts) with the blessings of the Night of Power. Ameen.






I love my name : )
Can you see my name on the wall there? LOL

No, not changing my name. LOL.
Stop telling me what to do. Keep your opinion to yourself.
Mind your own business.
Your jealousy can't block my destiny.
O Allah, Al Qareeb, guard me against toxic people. Ameen.

p/s
Done packing more Eid goodies for balik kampung.
Am going to continue reading the Quran now, excuse me.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

22nd Ramadan 1438H | Sun without its ray

Bismillah.

It was raining quite heavily pre-Isha last night, it's tempting to skip Teraweh at the mosque when the weather is bad. La hawla wala quwata illah billah.

This morning, I noticed, the sun rises without its ray! What could that mean? Laylatul Qadar?
Allahu a'lam!

Allahumma innaka 'afuwun
tuhibbul 'afwa
fa' fu'anni 

This poster puts a smile on my face.
: )







WaSalamualaikum warahmatullah.




Friday, June 16, 2017

21st Ramadan 1438H | Busy pleading with the Lord

Bismillah.

It's the time to seclude and keep ourselves busy pleading with the Lord.

Wishing everyone success in using time in the most productive manner in this last 10 days of Ramadan.

Wama tawfiqi illa billah.



p/s
Must praise the Most Generous Lord today for sending some sweet cherries from Spain. Allah Kareem! Every day He manifests His generosities and every day we must be cognizant of them and say our thanks. Many people asked me how I had once upon a time survived without a job for four years, each time people asked, I said: Allah Kareem : )


p/s
My thoughts and prayers are with Aunty S and her family in the northeast of Spain - pious, honorable family they are. May Allah bless them with the best of His Most Unique Bounties this Ramadan. Ameen.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

20th Ramadan 1438 H | My Lord knows me better

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah, we have come to the last 100 meters of Ramadan, so to speak. It's unbelievable how fast time flies.

In this lesson, the Shaykh says we should not be distrustful of Allah's intentions towards us - our life, our properties, our families. We should say: "My Lord knows me better than I do." If we maintain this attitude, we will remain contented and experience the pleasure of compliance.

The last weekend before the upcoming Eid is just around the corner. May Allah continue to bless us with happiness and abundant of provision - material, spiritual and emotional.




Alhamdulillah, I am delighted the beautiful calligraphy artwork crafted by a Japanese Muslim, an Iranian lady, a Chinese Muslim and a Malaysian gentleman have found their place at my humble abode. Two of them are Asmaul Husna. But unfortunately, they appear too small in the photo below.

Allah is Beautiful and He loves beauty. And we love reciting and pondering on His Beautiful Names.


Can't wait to welcome my honorable guests 
during the Eid festivities, 
inshaAllah, bi-iznillah.

Yeah...my Lord knows me better : D



Wednesday, June 14, 2017

19th Ramadan 1438 H | Do not chastise us for our sins

Bismillah.

Ah...we are all busy catching up on our Ramadan routine. I'm struggling to keep up with daily postings here, as a small gesture for appreciating the gift of "today" every day.

Let's just say ameen to this du'a made by the venerable Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al Jilani.

"O Allah, grant pardon, forgiveness, tolerance, forbearance and renewed grace.
Do not expose us to disgrace.
Do not chastise us for our sins.
O Allah, O generous one,
You have said:
'And He it is who accepts repentance
from His servants and pardon evil deeds.'
O Allah, relent toward us and pardon us."

Ameen.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

18th Ramadan 1438H | Lowliness and obscurity

Bismillah.

Be content with lowliness and obscurity, said the shaykh.
But how many of us truly and willingly want or accept such attributes?
Many of us seek elevation, popularity, and acceptance by people when in truth none of those could help us in the grave. Our blog readers/Insta/Twitter followers would not be bothered when we are 6 feet underground.

We might have invested our time and effort on the wrong things?

Indeed, Ramadan makes us reflect on many aspects of life.
May Allah allow us to attain the best Ramadan education ever and let us come out of it wiser.
Ameen.

Monday, June 12, 2017

17th Ramadan 1438 H | O Allah, employ our limbs in Your obedient service

Bismillah.

"O Allah, help us to be obedient to You
and do not desert us because of disobedience toward You
O Allah, keep us far removed from hypocrisy
in all our circumstances
O Allah, bring us near to You
do not send us far away from You
O Allah, install us in Your court
and in Your company
O Allah bless us with meeting You
in this world and the herefafter
delight us with nearness to You
and with the sight of You"

"Let us be among who are well pleased with You
to the exclusion of everything apart from You
O Allah, bless us with true fitness
in Your company"

"O Allah, employ our limbs and organs
in Your obedient service
and our hearts
in Your intimate knowledge
Employ us throughout our lives
by night and by day"

"Join us with our predecessors
among the righteous
provide us with sustenance
as You provided them with sustenance
and be for us as You were for them"

"O Allah, grant us the blessings
You have bestowed on Your people"

"O Allah, help us against ourselves
O Allah, grant us  the blessing
of compliance with Your destiny
under all circumstances"

"O Allah, let us eat of the food of Your nearness
let us quench our thirst with the drink
of Your intimate friendship"

"O Allah, cause a separation between us and our lower selves
O Allah, let us get to know You
so that we really know You"

"O Allah, treat us kindly in Your judgments
and Your decrees"

"O Allah, we seek refuge with you
from reliance on material means
and attachment to fantasy, desires and habits"

"With You
we seek refuge from evil under all circumstances"

"O Allah, make us extinct
to everything apart from You
cause us to exist in You
and give us in this world good
and good in the hereafter
and guard us against the torment of the fire"

"O Allah, may I benefit from what I have to say,
and let them benefit
from what I am saying
and they are hearing."
- Shaykh Abdul Kadir Al Jilani




I am humbled and grateful that Allah enables me to use my limbs and organs to do a little something to make my mother happy. My Jannah is under her feet. May Allah find me worthy of His Jannah. Ameen.

DIY home re-decor initiative for the coming Eid
for the sake of my dear mother,
and our honorable guests
: D
Those orchids are fresh by the way ; )
Alhamdulillahi hamdan yuwafi ni amahu wa yukafi umazidah

p/s
Makcik/Pakcik yang ada penyakit hasad/dengki/cemburu terhadap saya, dinasihatkan buanglah penyakit tu jauh-jauh ya, apa kata buang ke Singapura ke? LOL.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

16th Ramadan 1438H | No why. No how.

Bismillah.

It is a short verse which many of us overlook, methinks - verse 76-30 as highlighted in this lesson by the Shaykh.

"And you will not so wish, unless Allah so wills.
Indeed, Allah is All-knowing, All-wise."
[As translated by: Mufti Muhammad Taqi Uthmani]

"And you cannot wish anything yourselves, except what Allah wills.
Indeed, Allah is All-knowing, All-wise."
[As translated by: Muhammad Tahir al-Qadri]

"But you will not, unless God wills.
surely God is ever All-knowing, All-wise."
[As translated by: Arthur J. Arberry]

We must be grateful for all the wonderful things which Allah has willed for us. Likewise, we should be patient for the seemingly not so wonderful things which Allah has willed for us. May Allah enable us to practise istislam in the truest form. May we not question why and how. May Allah grant us hidayah and tawfik to be a proper Muslim who submits to the faith and His decree.
Ameen.

Translation ref: Altafsir.com




Saturday, June 10, 2017

15th Ramadan 1438 H | Full moon - bright stars

Bismillah.

Let your cheerfulness show : )
How not to be cheerful in Penang when the "stars" have landed in my home : D



How not to be cheerful celebrating Ramadan in Penang when you get this kinda bonanza for free at the Penang State Mosque. If some organizations were to organize an event similar to this with some personalities leading the program, they might charge you a fee. LOL.
  • Complimentary porridge
  • Pre-iftar tazkirah and tahlil recitation
  • Solat Terawih 
  • Child-care service while parents perform teraweh
  • Complimentary supper post-teraweh
  • Tadarus al-Quran
  • Qiyamulail not just during the last week of Ramadan, but every single night
  • Special prayers on Nuzul Quran eve
  • Free sahur meals



Compliments of the Ismails

The Shaykh says: let your cheerfulness show : )

Friday, June 9, 2017

Ramadan in Penang | Ramadan Ramblings

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah for another super sweet experience this Ramadan - to drive home to Penang with loads of Raya goodies packed in my car from fried shallots to Raya cookies to Eid attires and accessories, to floor lamps (YES!), new jug set, cookie canister, a coffee table (YES!), bags of groceries  - as if there are no good grocery stores in Penang! 

As usual, no, there's no room for any passengers. LOL. Yes, for Eid prep, I would transport anything and everything to my hometown - anything my mother requests and anything that would make her happy. Alhamdulillahi hamdan yuwafi niamahu wayukafi umazidah.


Yes, home-sweet-home is the destination
@ Gelugor
As for iftar meals, apart from scrumptious home-cooked food, it's a must to check out the Ramadan Bazaar. The food bazaar always has something to surprise and impress. May Allah bless all the food vendors. Ameen.

Penang is famous for great food so you can expect
the Ramadan bazaar here to be extra special than any other states in Malaysia
; )

When a city girl balik kampung (visit her hometown) she has the tendency to bring home something flashy LOL. But not necessarily expensive.

My name is Eza : )

Iftar @ Gelugor

OK folks, may you have wonderful Ramadan experiences too.
How many chapters of the Quran have you read?
I'm doing pretty good, Alhamdulillah.

May Allah grant us tawfik and success.
And maqbul!


14th Ramadan 1438 H | Be wakeful with the Creator

Bismillah.

In this advice from the Shaykh, we are encouraged to train the heart to be wakeful with the Creator and be asleep in relation to creatures, so much so that we remain intimate with the Lord even when we are in public, so that we may benefit from hikmah through our innermost being.

May Allah be kind towards us this Ramadan and grant us knowledge and skills of the heart so that we could attain a bit of what the Shaykh is saying if not all.
Ameen.




Wish y'all (Malaysians) a happy long weekend.
I am excited to be back on this lovely island in the sun - Penang - Pearl of the Orient, yet again.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.
My heart sees my Lord who is Al Kareem.


Jumaah Mubarak.


Thursday, June 8, 2017

13th Ramadan 1438 H | O Lord, wish me well


Bismillah.

"Allah would not have given you makrifah (knowledge of Allah).
unless He wished you well in this world and the hereafter."
- Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al Jilani

May Allah honor us with gnosis (makrifah).
The best safety net is knowing that Allah wishes us well for this world and the hereafter.
When Allah is for us and with us, nothing and no one can overcome us.

Ilahi anta maqsudi
wa redhaka matlubi
a'tini mahabbataka
wa makrifataka






Wednesday, June 7, 2017

12th Ramadan 1438 H | The Highroad towards Allah

Bismillah.

No need to regret, if you have missed out the "opportunities" that await on the wrong door.Worry we must if we are unable to open the right door to Allah which takes us to the highroads of much felicity, on the route of clarity, unity, obedience, and truthfulness.

This is what I understood from the Shaykh's lesson as shown in below video.

It would be better to be seen by the mortals as being "left out" of the "mainstream", when in truth you are on the right bandwagon. In short, open the right door and get in the correct lane.

Something for us to ponder and consider.







Tuesday, June 6, 2017

11th Ramadan 1438H | My heart sees my Lord

Bismillah.

My heart sees my Lord who is generous towards me.
Allah Al Kareem.

My heart sees my Lord who is protective of me.
Allah Al Hafiz.

My heart sees my Lord who is a friend I can always count on.
Allah Al Wali.

Feeling blessed that He has made visible these Divine Attributes of Him.

Which of Allah's Divine Attributes are apparent to you today?




Looking up to My Lord Allah Azza Wa Jalla with gratitude.
Gratitude, certainty, and sincerity are some of the subtle qualities which only the Creator will know if it does exist in a person's heart.

Monday, June 5, 2017

10th Ramadan 1438H | Sit close to the Employer

Bismillah.

So the first phase of Ramadan has passed : (

It's time to sit closer to the Employer, so that we are always ready to get up and toil.
Let's continue to focus on what our hands are capable of doing. We are going "Home" alone, and not a single person would bother to look out for us on the Day of Resurrection, except you know who. Let's "text" him salallah alaihi wasalam our salawat, that is better for us than to text nonsense to people, oh well at least leave people alone so they too could sit closer to the Employer and "message" His Messenger salallah alaihi wasalam.

It's easy to forget our priorities. But it's never too late to reset them.
May Allah grant us tawfiq.
Ameen.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

9th Ramadan 1438H | Don't be deluded

Bismillah.

It's a simple yet deep reminder from the Shaykh:
Don't be deluded by your youth, your property and everything you have around you!

Let's busy ourself with the One who is not heedless of us.
Let's busy ourself making sure we have a "lawyer" to accompany us in the grave - the Quran.
Hoping my relationship and attachment with the Quran gets better each day, Ameen.
I wish for the same, for you too.


Saturday, June 3, 2017

8th Ramadan 1438 H | Covered

Bismillah.

Cover the mind from negative thoughts.
Cover the heart from all unworthy contingent dwellers except Allah....let's try.

When travelling in Ramadan, you'd want to cover up a bit more somehow 😉

Wish y'all another wonderful iftar and marathon of ibadah.


Anything for habibi 😁

Friday, June 2, 2017

7th Ramadan 1438 H | Dispense with everything

Bismillah.

Assalamualaikum warahmatullah,

I am sure you are as excited that the weekend is here.

Next weekend will be more exciting for me inShaAllah as it will be the time to reap some "good fruits" bi-iznillah. And then the following weekend will be even more meaningful spiritually for all of us as we await the Laylatul Qadar inShaAllah.

In this Ramadan Bites of Wisdom, Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani, teaches us to make du'a so that Allah enables us to dispense with everything. And that we find satisfaction only with Him.

Dispense in this context, means to do without. That we do without everything, save Him. It may sound like a lofty Sufi philosophy but in my humble opinion, if you sort of reverse that, and you attach Him in everything that you do with the simple intention of Bismillah, then He is with us, for every single thing that we can say Bismillah for. They say, the wise pious men say, if you are about to do something and you find it hard/inappropriate to say Bismillah, it's quite likely that you are about to do a wrong thing. 

Of course, you can't logically say Bismillah when you enter a laghah venue/gathering such as a disco. LOL.   

May Allah continue to guide us. May Allah forgive us.
"I don't believe you have to be better than everybody else. I believe you have to be better than you ever thought you could be." - says Ken Venturi.

It's true, it's especially true in Ramadan when opportunities and possibilities are plenty.
We just have to choose the right ones.

Jumaah Mubarak! 






Thursday, June 1, 2017

6th Ramadan 1438 H | God's good pleasure

Bismillah.

May Allah grant us the capability to see with the eyes of the heart. May Allah grant us the strength to only prefer God's good pleasure and that the displeasure of others mean nothing to us. Ameen.


Tonight in my sujud, I felt a different kind of connection with the earth.
Subhana Rabbiyal a'la wabihamdih
Glory be to the Lord Most High

Tonight in the sweetness of teraweh I realized how fair Allah is. On several occasions, I thought of taking "justice" in my own hand, but then I realized the obvious that I can't possibly be more just or more clever in judging or crafting a response to anything. Allah has yet again shown how fair and wise He is in dealing with all matters at hand. When I made sujud tonight, I came to a higher degree of sensitivity and awareness of how vast and solid the earth is. Not a single thing that takes place on its stage escape the sight, hearing, and knowledge of Allah.

So let's just relax and let God.
The proof is getting clearer.





Wednesday, May 31, 2017

5th Ramadan | Delight our hearts

Bismillah.




O Allah, delight our hearts,
clothe our innermost beings with robes of honor
and set our minds on what is between us and You
beyond the understanding of creatures
and our own understanding.
Ameen.

***
On a lighter note, I am delighted I managed to juggle teraweh, reading the Quran, and shopping LOL. Yes, Alhamdulillah, got new clothes for Eid, Raya cookies, Raya decor items etc; and paid zakat already, I'm all set should the Syawal Crescent decide to appear : D 

Maybe not yet...cos gotta fix some DIY stuff. Just hope the tool functions. DIY Queen is gonna get cranky if it doesn't LOL.

Oh...would be nice for my guests if I could get a new plush carpet and a console table...etcetera.

Never mind me, I'm just being real cos being real requires no effort. 

Anyway, let's fastabiqul khairat - compete on reading the Quran, and all other good deeds. Ramadan delights the hearts, no doubt. Thank You Allah for Ramadan!


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

4th Ramadan 1438 H | Lord seeker

Bismillah.

Seek neither this world nor the Hereafter.
Seek the Lord of the Worlds and the Hereafter.

The world is a bridge. There's no need to over-decorate a bridge because we will cross to the end and leave it behind anyway. The Hereafter is like candy to those who seek a handful of rewards.

The shaykh says, in other words, [in my own silly interpretation] be close to the candy-maker. I think it makes sense. If we are close to a candy-maker, he could spin up a cotton candy anytime. But cotton candy is like a shell, we are supposed to be near to the kernel - the sugar - the Source.





The Shaykh also say: we must give attention and interest to those who love us for our sake and not for their sake.

In any case, this Ramadan, let's spend more time to speak to the Lord, than speak to the mortals.



Monday, May 29, 2017

3rd Ramadan 1438 H | Be useful to yourself

Bismillah.

Remind myself I will, to speak less, read more. Read beneficial materials. Read the Quran. Master on the major instead of the minor.

Be useful to yourself first and then others.
: )






Salam Sahur from KL.



Sunday, May 28, 2017

Quran Marathon

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah, at the time of writing (Saturday 11pm), most Malaysians have just completed the teraweeh prayers.

I have a confession to make, the moment I reached home from the mosque, this is what I hunted for - my post-teraweeh snacks. LOL. We all have our own favorite food for iftar, late night snacks and sahur, I'm sure. 


Meat floss in Spring Roll wrappers
- a friend made these yummies.
Excuse me the photo has nothing to do with the posting subject 😂

But I don't feel guilty snacking cos today I did pretty well with the Quran marathon ; )

Yes, Alhamdulillah, this posting is a special shout out to my Quran teacher. He has trained me pretty well since Nov last year, so I am now capable of reading one juzuk/chapter in one sitting which takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes on average. One sitting in the morning and one before iftar, so 2 chapters a day went by like a song - thanks to him!

May Allah grant him His secret knowledge and gnosis and fulfill his dream to complete a second degree in Islamic Studies. Just imagine someone with a BSc. from a uni abroad can be so talented in teaching the Quran that he has received teaching certs from several state authorities. That shows we must stay true to our own personal interests regardless of our academic qualifications.

I have also noticed that it's good to read one chapter of the Quran ahead of time so that when you go for teraweeh you will become familiar with what the imam recites. For example, on day two of teraweeh we should read Chapter Two during the day because that's what the imam would usually recite on the second night. Let's try. We won't know our real capabilities unless we keep trying. May Allah give us plenty of stamina to run the Quran Marathon until the finish line. Ameen.

OK good night folks.

Ramadan Kareem!


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Sahur & Subuh in KL | 1st Ramadan 1438 Hijri

Bismillah.




Assalamualaikum warahmatullah,

May Allah grant us good health and the tawfiq to wake up for Fajar, Sahur and Subuh prayers every day of this year's Ramadan. 

Oh Allah, just as You have peeled off the night and present a new day, enable us to remove the blemished skins of yesterday's deeds. Rejuvenate for us the appearance of our iman, tawakkulyaqin and sabr on this brand new day. Let our tongues speak the truth. Let us be the receptacle of the most precious bounties which You have reserved for those who fast truthfully zahir and batin, on each day of the blessed Ramadan.

Ameen.


Pre-dawn in KL - 1st Ramadan 1438 H

The KL Tower lights up at the call of Subuh azan on this first day of Ramadan






Friday, May 26, 2017

Ramadan Kareem | Ramadan Reflections

Bismillah.



Assalamualaikum warahmatullah to all the "soul soldiers of the same rank", friends who have sent good wishes in conjunction with the arrival of the sacred Ramadan. You know who you are : )

Alhamdulillah...some of you live in countries where Ramadan will make its appearance in a couple of hours (at the time of this posting).  

Praise be to Allah, the Most Generous and Most Compassionate for the tawfiq that this sinful faqir was able to be present at His House for the first teraweeh. What would become of us, had He not granted us good health and facilitate it for us to be among the congregation? Glory be to Him for letting us welcome the holy month yet again no matter how dented our previous Ramadans had been. Praise be to Him for granting us the awareness and consciousness of our own weaknesses thus we try again and again at purifying our hearts and deeds.

Glory be to Him, who sees and hears all. We seek refuge in Allah from the lack of strength to defend our iman from being poked, torn or robbed by the affiliates of shayatin in the form of men, anytime anywhere. May He replace our weaknesses and shortcomings with a mighty strength and defense. May He fortify our fort of faith, so no evil eyes and hands can do harm to us. 

May the Generous Lord of the Worlds create for us, tranquility and felicity in each moment. May Allah the Most Subtle and Gentle, soften our hearts that it bows nimble towards Him and Him alone. That we remain in this protected state always inside and outside of Ramadan.


Ameen Allahumma Ameen.        

Ramadan eve in KL.
Gotta praise Allah that this city is peaceful.
We are not forgetful of our brothers and sisters who have been displaced,
who have had to leave their countries due to conflicts.
 May Allah shower His mercy on them and grant them a better abode.
Ameen. 


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Time to reflect

Bismillah.

Says Saleem Kidwai OBE


Counting down to Ramadan : )

Wassalamualaikum warahmatullah.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Manisnya munajat | Call upon the Lord

Bismillah.

I wish to write in the Malay language of a state I have been experiencing. It's about the sweetness of being alone and calling upon the Lord.

***

Manisnya munajat
Indahnya bersendirian
berkata-kata dari sanubari yang paling dalam
kepada Tuhanku yang sentiasa menunggu

Tenangnya rasa kala memutuskan diri

daripada hingar bingar dunia
dan tingkah manusia melelahkan jiwa
Tiada penghujung drama menidakkan kebenaran
degil ego bergelumang rakus kemahuan
Sungguh bahagialah jiwa yang meninggalkan segala yang sirna tidak bermakna

Ya Allah, terima kasih atas undangan ini

Saat-saat sunyi menjadi saksi segala yang terbuku di hati
dan semua rasa yang dizahirkan suara
Syukur Ya Allah Tuhan yang menggerakkan lidah
menadah perhatian dan kurnia Ilahi
akan segenap keperluan diri
memohon kepada Tuhan yang Maha Kaya
boleh saja menciptakan sekali lagi
bumi dan langit
jika itu pilihanNya
maka Engkau ciptakan buat ku rahsia antara kita

Syukur Ya Rabb Ya Wali

atas keyakinan dan harapan baharu
hanya Engkau yang mampu memberi

Terima kasih Tuhan

atas kemanisan munajat
dan bahagia yang mengiring diri
di kala aku duduk sendiri
hanya Engkau menjadi saksi

: )





Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Invest in Ramadan

Bismillah.

Ahhh...I am prepping myself mentally for the coming sacred month. I am sure you are too.


Yes, we all know the Return of Investment (ROI) which Allah has promised us as far as Ramadan is concerned. Unlike other kinds of investments, the returns from Allah is 100% guaranteed.

I am pleased that I should be able to khatam (complete) Quran recitation together with my guide in Ramadan bi-iznillah.

It feels good knowing that one's recitation is being corrected and verified and as they say in Malay we don't shok sendiri that is having a misleading self-confidence that something is already good but in actual fact, it's not good.

Best wishes to all!
Success is with Allah.
Wama tawfiqi illa billah.

video



Monday, May 22, 2017

Last leg of Shaaban | Dreaming Ramadan

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah...we must thank Allah that we have come to the last leg of Shaaban.

May Allah continue to bless us in this last week of Shaaban and may we live to welcome and embrace Ramadan - a time for spiritual revival bi-iznillah.

Here is one positive pill for today:



And Ramadan is a month to stay awake as much time as possible - physically, mentally and spiritually.

Let's now chill with Maher Zain's latest song : )


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Eid mood already

Bismillah.

I mingled with a bunch of elderlies, again LOL.
I think senior citizens like me : D

This time I was with a group of veteran singers from Singapore. One of them is a superstar as far as Malay Eid songs are concerned. Her name is Sanisah Huri. She was one of the top songstress in the 60s. I wasn't born yet but like the majority of Malaysians and Singaporeans, I recognized her voice in classic Eid songs which are still popular to this day. Eid al-Fitri or Raya as we call it in Malaysia, would be dull and incomplete without these classic songs.

It's kinda surreal to be at the gathering (mini-show) because it was almost a year ago that I sat next to a lyricist who wrote a handful of popular Eid songs. It was in Ramadan. And this year, it's almost Ramadan, I was invited by the lyricist to attend a private function where veteran artists performed their evergreen songs! It was a treat I thoroughly enjoyed.

I know many of you foreign readers would not be appreciative of this Eid song which I recorded at the event, but the lyrics are simple yet meaningful indeed. It's about people being joyful during Eid and calls for us to forget our past/pain, and to start fresh so that our hearts will not hold any grudges or sorrow.

Enjoy!



p/s
I have got another clip, but let's save it for Raya : )


Saturday, May 20, 2017

A Tile For Seville - Global Crowd Funding Campaign to build a mosque in Seville

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah, I was pleased to learn that the fund raising to build a proper mosque in Seville has reached quite a good milestone. According to the campaign's official website 'A Tile For Seville' a total of US$ 1.29 Million has been raised so far. It's a long way to go to hit the target of US$ 17.9 Million, but nothing is too difficult should Allah want to make it easy.

The first time I heard about the campaign was two years ago when Ibrahim Hernandez visited my place in KL in 2015 and we recorded a video of him speaking about the need for some 25,000 Seville Muslim residents to have a bigger and proper mosque and Islamic center. Please refer to the interview video below as published on Al Falah TV YouTube channel. For the record, that's how a group of amateur part-timers first started the YouTube channel. We did not have a big camera, nor proper knowledge but we had a big heart of wanting to share the "cries" of our Spanish friends then.

We are indeed glad that Ibrahim and his team had in 2016 forged a cooperation with a Malaysian NGO known as Ukhwah For Ummah (UFU) to further help with the fundraising. Recently, the UFU had launched a second bigger campaign spearheaded by seven celebrity-icons from Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. ACT, an Indonesian NGO from Indonesia is also involved in this second campaign.

I am pleased to share with you TWO important links:
  • the official video published by Mezquita de Sevilla about the situation in Seville. Click here.
  • the official website for 'A Tile For Seville' Click here where you could donate 1 tile (US$479) or half a tile (US$239.50) or a quarter tile (US$119.75) through three payment channels catered for Spanish & International donors, Malaysian donors and Indonesian donors.
Come on Lisan al-Din readers, I know many of you are doctors, surgeons, dentists, lawyers, engineers, corporate leaders, entrepreneurs, housewives with big savings and big heart, you all can afford ONE tile, or half a tile, or a quarter tile, bi-iznillah.

The last time the Seville Muslims had a mosque with a grand minaret was in 1248, that year during the Reconquista, the city's mosque was converted to a church. The minaret of the mosque was then made into a bell tower known as La Giralda. The bell tower (former minaret) is now an iconic tourist attraction in Seville. In 1987, the UNESCO listed La Giralda (former minaret) as a World Heritage Site.

So, when you contribute a tile for building a mosque in Seville, you can imagine yourself as a redeemer of our pride - Muslims' pride. You will have helped redeem a glory that we lost 769 years ago.     







I'd like to wish Ibrahim & team at Mezquita de Sevilla all the very best.
Success is without a doubt, by Allah and for Allah.

***
: D 


Friday, May 19, 2017

Bless all octogenarians

Bismillah.

"If a young man honors an old person on account of his age, Allah appoints someone to show reverence to him in his old age."
- Prophet Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam

Alhamdulillah, I feel blessed to associate myself with a couple of octogenarians and those who are in their 70s. These men/women are not only respected for their age, but also for their vast knowledge, specialized skills, and good manners.

Yesterday, I had one special octogenarian visiting my humble crib. He left us with amazing words of encouragement and inspiration. He quoted the late all-rounder legendary artist Tan Sri P. Ramlee: "What you are doing is noble and it's a valuable art, do it with much honesty, as said P. Ramlee: Art is one of Allah's craft, carry it out truthfully."

About 30+ years from now, bi-iznillah, I hope I'll still get to mingle with the youngsters to benefit from their knowledge, motivation, and zest for life; that I would still be relevant to them.

I pray we will all live up to 80, too, and be given plenty of sustenance, wisdom, freedom, mobility, and good health. That the youngsters would be sensitive towards our feelings and honor us as we honor the elderlies when we are young. Ameen.


Allahummaj 'al au sa'a rizqika
 'alaiya 'inda kibari sinni wan qitho'i umuri

  

p/s
We should also pray so that Allah grant us the consciousness to behave according to our age. I hope I will not be like some of those women pushing 60 with "waffled" drooping eyelids yet are not shy about putting on eyeshadow. May we remain sensible in our appearance befitting our age.


   

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Fighting spirit

Bismillah.

No, not giving up.


I am grateful for Thursday and every day of the week.

A good sparring buddy went to Venice and bought me an "Evil Eye" Murano bangle as if she knew what I was wishing for.

"Souls are troops collected together and those who familiarized with each other in the Heaven would have an affinity with one another in the world and those amongst them who opposed each other (in the Heaven) would also be divergent in the world."
- Prophet Muhammad salallah alaihi wasalam

Yeah...those who are not in the same squadron as me, please stand back, better not mess with me.


Armed with an  "Evil Eye" talisman
my fighting spirit is up.
I mean business! 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

17 May - Happy World Telecommunication Day

Bismillah.


Yes, 17 May is a big day for those who work in the telecommunications industry. It's a day that is officially known as World Telecommunication & Information Society Day (WTISD). 

Of course, we all have something to do with today, cos we all cling to our mobile phones and breathe on internet connection 24/7. LOL. Phones and Internet connectivities are like our life and love lines.

According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the purpose of WTISD is "to help raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide."

I remembered the year when mobile phone became available in Malaysia circa 1989/1990, I talked on the phone with a friend who was studying in USA for hours and the bill came up to RM15K! LOL. But I'd like to think that my late father had forgiven me for my silliness and that I have redeemed myself. LOL.

So the next time you use a mobile phone to speak with your loved ones or when you use the internet for whatever reasons, think of me as one of the millions staff of the telecoms industry worldwide who devote our energy and time so that you stay connected and informed : )

Ah...but I might be leaving this industry soon bi-iznillah.

Says: Dan Oswald
[Hope you like my custom posters.
Yes, I try my best to craft fresh posters/contents every day.
It's fun.]

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Happy Teachers' Day

Bismillah.

Exactly a week ago, my Quran teacher texted me saying he could not teach cos he got drenched in the heavy rain. MashaAllah!

The challenges our teachers have to go through, to impart knowledge to us.

I hate to imagine the feeling.
Imagine having to ride a bike some 20 km and then it starts to rain, then you stop to put on a rain coat and continue your journey in the rain and when you arrive at the destination, you feel glad you are on time as always, but then you realize you can't have class anyway as you are all soaked. Feeling cold, you wait for a while before making your way home, another 20 km and the wind makes you colder.

Perhaps in his mind, he thought, "Hmm...my student missed the opportunity of reading 15 pages of Quran, else she would have moved on to Surah Al Furqan."
    
For the sacrifices that our teachers have to make, we pray Allah increase them in knowledge and wisdom even more. That they enjoy good health, a long fruitful and prosperous life and that their children will receive the best education one could get. Ameen.

Only teachers who are passionate about teaching can make students truly passionate about learning.



Monday, May 15, 2017

Don't you dare | Red

Bismillah.

Ahh... I can't get enough of positive affirmations, especially in the world that we live in today, there are people who like to cap our potentials, our dreams, and the prospect of our happiness, so we need a daily dose of positive motivations and affirmations to kick all negativities in the butt.
  
And I can't get enough of the color red as it symbolizes power, energy and great outcomes.

Here's one to start the week by Tim Fargo:
"Don't you dare, for one more second, surround yourself with people who are not aware of the greatness that you are."

Should anyone tell you otherwise, lift your feet and give them a flying kick. I am good at it just so you know. LOL. 


Red is not just a color
it's a state of mind

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Eternal garden bliss | Exert for one's love

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah for my mother. Alhamdulillah for the opportunity to do something special for my mother, yet again.

The last time my mother was delighted big time was when I had a custom design blinds made for her alfresco garden kitchen. That was like a month ago I reckon.

This weekend I labored hard putting together a DIY garden all for her sake. May Allah keep us together in this dunya for the longest time and may we remain together in a more beautiful abode in the akhirah, Ameen.

So I have been busy driving back and forth to the plants' nursery. It's unbelievable the amount of tawfiq/strength Allah could give on account of the love we have for someone special. I still can't comprehend how I managed to handle 49 bags of 28-liter soil. [I checked the conversion table and that equals to 1,372 kg!] Yes, and planted about 40 new plants. In hindsight, it looks like a ridiculous kinda task, but I managed it all for the Queen of my heart, Alhamdulillah I am pleased with the results indeed. It's 90% complete. There's only one 8-feet planter box undone cos I could not source for the right kind of Jasmine.   

Yes, this is a special occasion that deserves a posting, so that it's documented and I could someday look back and know how old the plants are. Photos of three other planter-boxes (bread flowers, piper betel and one unidentified species) are not here though, let's wait for them to mature a wee bit more InshaAllah.

This could be Red Star.
Too tired to remember all their names.  Or this might be Coleus.

Portulacaria

Multi-colored Vinca, Petunia
and "Maroon shrub" [God knows what its scientific name is LOL] 

Ahh...this fern is extra special because it's my mother's favorite
when she was in her 30s.
There is a photo of 3 years old me standing next to a row of this fern which she planted.
    
This is a 'before depotting' photo.
before they were planted onto the intended planter box.
Looks/sounds easy but NAY, no way, it was tough handling 49 bags of 28-liter soil and dozens of potted plants.
My nails are all broken and blackish. No, didn't use glove somehow.
But it's all worth it : )

OK folks, my body is aching like crazzzzyyyy, I have to take some muscle relaxants now LOL. 

I hope my nieces and nephews who read this posting will learn a little something, that we must always be willing to exert ourselves and dirty our hands gladly for the sake of our mother.

May Allah grant my mother good health and a long blessed prosperous life. I hope she will consider this small gesture of mine to be equivalent to 100 bouquets of flowers that will never fade but that which will grow even more beautiful over the years.
Ameen.

: )