Friday, August 24, 2012

Things Left Unsaid.

I have tried and I must come to terms that there is no good out of all my efforts for you. 

I can choose to ignore your negativity because it has become detrimental to my own emotions. I see no point of looking for you because you are hazardous to the calm and peace of my life.

I've worked very hard to sustain serenity through confiding in Allah, trusting Allah and being forever grateful to Allah. I'm working very hard to keep progressing in this manner. I feel like this is the healthiest I have ever been emotionally and mentally. I don't need your worldly troubles and worries to invade this positive space I've created around me. 

I'm not shutting you out completely but please leave your bitterness and negativity outside before you enter my private space. Thank you.

God bless you surely yet I hope your heart is unveiled enough to realise how cruel you have been to forget His blessings.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Eid Mubarak

Eid Mubarak to friends, acquaintances and strangers. I apologise for all of my wrongdoings and faults, intentionally or unintentionally, physically, mentally and emotionally. I'm merely human and am grateful to be given another day to reflect and repent.

Eid ulFitri means many things literally. It could mean a celebration for the end of fasting. It could mean a celebration for paying your alms dutifully. It could also mean a celebration for personal progress.

Whichever it may be to us, I hope our Ramadhan was fruitful and full of barakah. May Syawal bring us victory and blessings.

May He grace us with His Love and Mercy and allow us another Ramadhan to celebrate. InsyaAllah. :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Flowers in Progress

Drawing something abstract while doing Muhasabah (self-reflection) and Muraqabah (being watchful) is a good way of multi-tasking. I also knit and crochet. 

You don't need to have prayer beads to remember Allah. :)

Other things you can do while Muhasabah and Muraqabah
  • cook and bake
  • exercise
  • crafts - from sewing and quilting to woodwork and carpentry
  • any hobbies
It's nice to be productive while you review your spiritual and personal self. I hope this helps us all get closer to Allah.

Bismillah & insyaAllah.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


I've been making self-reflection a daily habit, most of the time during the few minutes before I go to sleep.

During the day and night, while we move along with our lives, whether we are alone or interacting with loved ones, acquaintances and strangers, we don't really have much time to reflect before and after our actions. I know that we should live life without regrets but a life without a single lesson learned must be truly wasted, don't you think so?

"Blessed is He who made the constellations in the heavens and made therein a lamp and a shining moon. And He it is Who made the night and the day to follow each other for him who desires to be mindful or desires to be thankful."
Al-Furqaan, 61-62.

We are taught and trained since very young to hone our deductive and mathematics skills. It sharpens our logical thinking. It heightens our intellectual prowess. It lets us understand cause and effect, and in turn lets us find valid solutions to get to a desired conclusion. Life is about constantly checking yourself, making sure you know your mistakes and making sure you don't repeat them. It's an innate mechanism of learning. That's how babies learn to understand sensations and emotions.

Most of the time, our lives are so fast-paced and we are from a generation that is more profit-driven than ever. Most of the things we do benefit ourselves more than others, even when it is intangible. It's a scary state of mind and personality.

I'm far from being a good person or Muslimah so I think a session of self-reflection daily would really help to put me back into humility and gratitude to Allah. How terrible it is to forget His every single blessing.

For all the sins and evils I've done, Astaghfirullahalazim.
For all the blessings I've received, Alhamdulillah.
For all the inspirations I've seen, Subhanallah.
For all the aspirations I have, InsyaAllah.

Ramadhan is going away again and I hope we all enter Syawal with the victory worthy of celebrating.  Eid Mubarak, everyone.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Of Early Education for Muslims

When I was young and went to the madrasah, we were told to Fear instead of Love Allah and to reap His rewards like collecting game-points.

"Do this so that you'll get enough merit to enter Jannah. Why? Because Jannah is the happiest place ever. You can get anything you want!"

"Fear Allah because He will punish you, because He is Powerful. Yes, He is Merciful but it is not a sign of respect if you say you love Him. How can you Fear someone you Love? Better to Fear than Love."

It always made me feel like I'm in the wrong for feeling like we are all just being selfish and greedy by wanting to enter Jannah because it's a wonderful place and not because it means our love is His and He loves us.

It always made me wonder if any one of my God-fearing (but not loving) classmates would end up resenting Him for all the punishments He gave but will not be grateful for the even greater Blessings and gifts He showered us with.

Also, the 6 years in the madrasah were filled with failed attempts to explain religion scientifically because, I suspect probably quite correctly, that the teachers do not see science or philosophy as integral aspects of dakwah and do not promote questions among their students. They are really just reciters of what they've learned before.

It's in the books written by other scholars, therefore, it must be true. No need to cross-reference with science or philosophy.

I am blessed to have gone to an Islamic University to study Architecture. Architecture students are taught to question everything. Our favourite question is "why" and so it is to no surprise that we were the more eager to understand beyond the written statements of scholars about Islam. If there is a philosophy behind it, we wanted to understand that. If Islam is the truth, we wanted to see how science is explained and accepted in Islam.

We questioned but not to raise anarchy. We questioned to eradicate those inkling of doubt that came in our heads when logic did not mesh up with what the teachers of our youthful madrasah preached about.

One of the first things I learned from the numerous religious classes by the university is that our religion is about knowledge. The first revelation that was sent down to Our Prophet Muhammad (SAW) by Jibril (AS) is "Read". Searching for knowledge is a kind of Islamic jihad. Well, if you make it your Islamic jihad, of course.

So it saddens me when these teachers who had the first chance to dip their knowledge into the minds and hearts of young Muslims aren't well-versed in philosophy and science, enough to answer the simple yet profound questions that came from children. They will shape our children's perspective of Islam and what we fear is the blind faith of those racing to be the ones with the most points to get into Jannah, greedy for the material rewards awaiting them.

Let's instil the greed for Allah's Love and Mercy in ourselves and our children.
Let's not let them think only of the many nubile virgins, delicious foods and wonderful rewards waiting for them if they go through motions and rituals.
Let's not assume their questions are not important enough to be answered seriously.

Bismillah and InsyaAllah.