Sunday, May 20, 2012

It's A Hijab, Not A Halo

Assalamualaikum everyone!!
Admittedly, I haven't updated my blog yet again... this time, due to ideas that somehow or other fails to be written properly (or typed, rather) and translated into a nice article. Not that it's not there.  But I will try my best to get those ideas on the blog by this week or two, insyaAllah..

Meanwhile, here's a lovely article I found on the net.  I shared it in Facebook, and would also like to share them here. 


photo credits: Aura Besi
I’m still a newbie at this; at a stage where the wardrobe malfunctions have been reduced, but not quite at the stage where I’m used to the slight loss of peripheral vision when I drive. I have yet to figure out a graceful way to wear my sunglasses or use my iPod without messing up the whole symmetry of my scarf. I still don’t know how to sleep comfortably on long haul flights without the worry of my whole scarf coming undone. But these are minor issues, which I’m sure time will solve.
However, I’m still not used to being deemed as an authority on Islam just because of what I wear. During a round table discussion on Islamic financing, attended by experts in the field, I suddenly found thirteen pairs of eyes looking my way whenever a point of Islamic fiqh had to be confirmed or validated. This attention was most likely due to my hijab rather than my credentials.
On a personal level, people frequently ask me questions about Islam –people who had always known I was Muslim, but had never quite appreciated the fact until my outward look was revamped. I walk down corridors, and instead of getting the normal greetings, some people literally stand to attention and give me Salam. This new look has provoked surprising reactions.
So, like it or not, the final and defining characteristic of a pious Muslimah appears to be  her clothing. It is drilled into our psyches as one of the most crucial elements of a Muslimah’s faith and identity.
But what about the bigger picture?
I have been told that the piousness of a Muslimah is evident in her face. Her expression is calm and tranquil; she carries herself with a serenity that is unperturbed by external circumstances. Her conduct is patient and unhurried; her tongue does not react in anger and spite, but rather remains moist with the remembrance of Allah. There are no frowns of anguish on her face, because her heart is at peace and she is contented with Allah’s bounties upon her.
That peacefulness, in turn, is borne out of her surrender to the will of Allah, and her desire to please Him.
It has been said that her actions towards others are kind and considerate. She keeps herself clean, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. She does not commit injustice nor oppression upon herself or those around her. She guards her modesty, carries herself with humbleness and humility, and is generous and honest in her dealings. She does not gossip, speak ill, or pry.  She is swift to sacrifice her money, time, energy, and even emotions for the sake of Allah. She is aware of her multiple duties in life, as a daughter, a wife, a mother, an educator and the nucleus of the Ummah from which the new generation of Muslims is propagated.
When Allah gives her light, she radiates that light and illuminates those around her. From that springs the true and rare beauty of a Muslim woman.
And I question myself, because I know that I don’t even own a fraction of these qualities. They do not manifest just from donning the hijab. Such attributes, with the mercy of Allah, can only be obtained by individual spiritual journeys, through learning, understanding and implementing the Deen. The hijab is only a brush stroke on the canvas within a much bigger picture. Without it the work is incomplete, but it is not the sole element that makes the painting. And my own canvas is incomplete and riddled with mistakes.
By wearing the hijab, voluntarily or otherwise, we have presented ourselves as the role models of Islam. Hence whenever a hijabi does something wrong, the effect and repercussions are amplified in the eyes of the observers. Perhaps this is the reason that non-Muslims and non-hijabis are puzzled and often discouraged by the apparent disconnect between the adornment of the scarf and the beauty of Islam.
Hence, people are understandably bewildered when they see hijabi women backbite, quarrel, complain and unable to keep their rudeness or tempers in check. People question why some hijabis are fully compliant in their physical appearance, yet negligent with their Salah. People get a bad impression when they see some hijabis behave hysterically at concerts and football matches, flirt openly and behave lewdly. People wonder why selfish, stingy, arrogant and even abusive behaviour can be seen permeating through the physical barriers of veil. And ultimately, the sum total of all these incidents has led many to conclude that Islam starts and stops at the hijab.
So, let me make a general appeal. The hijab is not a halo. It does not render the wearer superhuman qualities. Underneath the garments is a normal human being with her own flaws and imperfections. And like everyone else, she is also susceptible to mistakes.
The scarf protects against a particular sin but it does not by itself eradicate negative habits and manners. Self-development remains an individual struggle which all of us, hijabis or not, should strive to overcome on a daily basis.
Thus I have come to realize that the scarf is neither the beginning nor the conclusion, it is merely one of the steps in our journey towards Allah.
The inner struggle continues:
  • to be constantly thankful and submissive to Allah for all His bounties upon us and what He has chosen for us.
  • To remember Allah in the good times and the bad.
  • To find peace and spread that peace within society.
  • And ultimately, to instill true shyness within ourselves –not just in the eyes of men, but also front of Allah for our conduct.
Let me be the first to admit it – I am so far from the ideal. I stumble, I freak out and I lose it sometimes. And it worries me whenever I deal with others because how I behave is no longer a reflection of myself as an individual, but rather a reflection of the Ummah as a collective. It was not a role that any of us asked for, but it came as part of the package when we started wearing the hijab and externally identified ourselves as Muslim women.
And now, I constantly ask myself – will my behaviour repulse others from Islam, or attract them towards it? The former is a scary thought. The latter, something to aspire towards.
I can only appeal to non-hijabi sisters sitting on the fence to forgive the occasional poor manners displayed by the hijabi sisters. Instead of judging them, please make du’a for them to rectify their shortcomings and be better ambassadors of our Deen. And ultimately, remember that the only relevant issue is what Allah wants of you, not how others behave.
The journey continues for all of us: whether hijabi or on the way to becoming one inshaAllah.
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<              >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
DISCLAMER: The article is NOT mine. Just sharing it for your benefit, as well as mine.
As a final note, I would like to share a reminder by Ust Khurram Murad':
Islam is a state of becoming, not a state of being. Each day you must strive to improve and better yourself - and you will improve.'

Monday, April 9, 2012

|| Starting Again? ||


In the name of Allah, the most Gracious, most Merciful

Whew... haven't blogged in so long... Four months for that matter. Not that I've nothing to write, but just no sufficient motivation to finish writing. Plus so many hectic days.. But now I'd like to post again, for I love this blog, and I like exploring my own writings, sharing my thoughts.  I hope you will bear with my not-so-frequent updates.  I'll try and post at least once a week after this, insyaAllah. May Allah help me write something which might benefit not only myself, but also all of you as well.

For today, I'd just like to share my recent artwork.  Not that good, but I love the quote. A reminder to myself, especially.  Feel free to download or share them, but don't erase my name. ^_^

tarbiyah is never an easy path. struggles, blood, sweat n tears involved. to change ourselves and sculpt our life to what Allah love, ain't easy, for sure. But even gold n diamond are tough to create. more so the strife towards processing our heart to bow down to the Sustainer and Creator. InsyaAllah, the struggle will be worth it!

~ source of quote:

Well... that's all for now. Food for thought, for you and me.

May Allah bless us, and guide us on the straight path.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

~School's Out: What to Do After SPM? Jom JDK! ~


Well... a lot of things had been going on these past few weeks. Time waits for no man, hence we really do need to utilize time wisely.

For those of you who are finishing SPM, or have kids who had just finished them, or are teachers of fifth formers, here is an activity to fill up some of those free time wisely. A programme designed to upgrade life skills, and to gain many new experiences. Kursus Jati Diri dan Kesukarelawanan (JDK).

Well... without ranting too much, I'll share the poster:

So... a bit of a background.. JDK had been held since 2009, and had now expanded to include four places, namely Johor, Selangor, Perak and Terengganu.  The poster above is the poster for JDK in Johor, but the programme will be held at the same time in all four states, insyaAllah, that is from 24th December to 14th January.

The location for all the states are as written below:

1) Batu Ampar Resort, Kampung Paya Lintah, Perak

2) Kem Bumi Jati, Shah Alam, Selangor

3) Savannah Hill, Ulu Tiram, Johor

4) ILIM, Besut, Terengganu

For sharing of past experiences with JDK, here are some:

It's a worthwhile experience, and value for money, indeed.
Hope to meet all of you there! :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Be The Best That You Can Ever Be….

>> this is a lovely poem my mum shared when I was in lower secondary school… found it again online, and decide to share it with you. Disclaimer: I do not write this, nor do I know who did. But you sure write a great poem!

The good you find in others, is in you too.
The faults you find in others, are your faults as well.
After all, to recognize something you must know it.

The possibilities you see in others, are possible for you as well.
The beauty you see around you, is your beauty.

The world around you is a reflection, a mirror showing you the person you are.
To change your world, you must change yourself.
To blame and complain will only make matters worse.

Whatever you care about, is your responsibility.
What you see in others, shows you yourself.
See the best in others, and you will be your best.

Give to others, and you give to yourself.
Appreciate beauty, and you will be beautiful.
Admire creativity, and you will be creative.

Love, and you will be loved.
Seek to understand, and you will be understood.
Listen, and your voice will be heard.

Teach, and you will learn.
Show your best face to the mirror, and you'll be happy with
the face looking back at you.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

“Different”: A Label of Hidden Blessings

Have you ever been labelled 'different' in any way? Do you have any abnormality or deficiency which makes you stand out from the ordinary?

As an eye care practitioner, I occasionally met some people who are different compared to the normal human population. Some of the abnormality acquired as they grow older, while others have been different, ever since they are born. Some of these deficiencies are obvious, while others are only known to themselves. Some of the conditions are diagnosed by my colleague, lecturers (while in university), doctors, or me (depending on the severity of the condition). Not that I was oblivious to how the patients feel about the conditions they're dealing with, but somehow or other, one occasionally forgets how it feels to be in their shoes.

Yet one question came up recently, asked by a friend: "What are the advantages of being colour blind?" The random inquiry got me thinking... yes, being colour blind (a more accurate term which is colour vision deficiency-CVD) may be a disadvantage, if observed from one angle: that you are 'different', and you are unable to work in certain jobs or distinguish certain colours. Yet looking at it from another perspective, there are hidden blessings waiting to be discovered amidst the difficulties. Let's see what some of them are...

~Rainbows: what some colour vision deficiency people see~

Ever since I was small, I was used to people around me being a bit different from myself, and different from the crowd. My brother, a close friend now, and a good rival when we're younger, is one of them. Another is my best friend during secondary school. However, in spite of their disadvantage in terms of appearance, both of them grew very strong and healthy personalities. Sure, they're both teased and laughed at occasionally. But they learn to find true friends, voice out their thoughts, and strengthen their self esteem with the help of great teachers, friends and family. Both are now one of the most confident people I know. 

In a sense, Allah made them different, but He moulds their character like no one else can, giving them great people to befriend and love them. In colour vision deficiency context, you do have slight difficulty in identifying some colours from each other, yet you have discovered friends who don't mind helping you out in distinguishing them apart, and not laugh at you if you confuse them. As it is, most of the time, should you lack one thing, you are given an edge elsewhere by The Most High, Most Merciful.

There are certain limitations to having colour vision defect; for certain wavelength of colours may seem similar to others. Certain day-to-day activities such as identifying traffic light colours, certain electrical components, and jobs such as train operators and electrician may be restricted for them. Yet, one should be thankful. For in this world, there are people who have so much less than what we do. Vision-wise, some people are blind ever since they are born. Others find that their vision is reducing day by day. Some people have very limited vision that not even the best of spectacles can help them see as we do. Other people have a lack of pigments on their eyes, and thus have very high sensitivity to light. These are just some of the many other types of eye conditions which some people suffer. Yet all in all, no matter what our condition is, be it a simple case of short-sightedness, a reversible case of cataract, CVD, or even blindness, remember that Allah made us all in the best possible way. We are chosen to be special in that sense. 

The conditions, deficiencies, and disabilities... those are part and parcel of who we are. A reminder for us, that we are indeed very fragile, but Allah loves us all the same. Be thankful for them, and be thankful for the abilities which each one of us has, as well. Allow them to make us more humble as HIS servants. But make sure, that we don't look at them as something which hampers us from going forward. Instead, look at them as obstacles, stepping stones for us to move forward and be better person in serving Allah, and benefiting the society.

Finally... to answer my friend's question in a scientific perspective.... colour blind is a deficiency, which causes limitation in colour perception. This is mostly due to cone photoreceptors (which allows colours to be distinguished) in the retina which lacks one (or more) photosensitive pigments, which causes as inability to recognize one of the three primary colours of light, either red, green, or blue. Hence the impact on activities which requires colour identification might be quite a lot. Recent research shows that Deutans (the most common form of colour vision defect) are more accurate in identifying camouflaged colours then those with normal colour vision. It is thought that this is beneficial during the time when most men are hunters, as they could sense hidden animals easier. As for its benefits for present times, that remains a mystery. But one thing for sure, you may happily solve coloured rubic cube puzzles which baffles us, as your colour perspective is different. 

~Pencil colours: what some colour vision deficiency people see~

All in all, be it someone with perfect vision, colour blind, squinting eyes, dyslexia, handicapped, blind... Let us not be blinded by how great we are, or how bad our condition is. For the reality of this world, which so many people turn a blind eye to, is that this world is but a transient stop to the next life. Whatever our condition is, it is but a temporary test presented to us in this world that will be lifted once we are in Jannah, insyaAllah. Allah does not mind if we are 'different'. No. All He minds is how we face life's tests and undergo our journey in this world, how close we are to The Creator, and how much we try to benefit others, in spite of our limitations. 

"O mankind! We have created you from male and female, and made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another. Verily, the most honoured among you in the sight of Allah is the one who is the most righteous." (al-Hujurat: 13)

>> A reminder for me to remember, thoughts for you to ponder and reflect. J

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

[Alert!!] Somalia

Somalia is calling.. show that we care!
Take time this Ramadhan to do your part in helping those in need.

A touching entry regarding the famine HERE

Sunday, June 26, 2011

For a New Chapter of Life!


First of all.. it's been eons since this blog's updated.  So I owe all of you a huge apology.  Sorry guys, for making you wait this long.  So much has been going on the past few months with school, and life in general.  

Well... a lot have happened, and I've ended one big chapter of my life.  My life as a university student.  Alhamdulillah.. I'll be graduating this year, with all of my classmates.  Yup.  No more university classes and clinics.  But welcome, to the school of life.  I'll be starting my first carrier as a professional soon, insyaAllah.  Undoubtedly, my heart's been racing with nervous anticipation of what's in store.  My boss seems nice, but very strict, at the same time.  Hope I'll have a good time working, and no trouble adjusting to the working world.

Some of you might have just graduated too, and maybe start working already.  Or have been working part time somewhere in this long university holidays.  Well... here are a few reminders.  Written to remind me when I work later.  Hope they will be useful to you too.  

While so many people work for money...
Chasing large cars, big houses
Be sure you are different
Make money. No problem
But work solely for your Lord
For all things in life may come and go
(yes, even those mountains of money you invest!)

Yet faith in Allah
Work, for HIS sake
Will take you forward
Most importantly
Will bring you fountains of happiness
Here, and in the hereafter

Work may tire you
They may stress you out
But remember,
Difficulties that doesn't kill you will only make you stronger
and repeat this favorite verse
"Verily after hardship, comes relief!"
InsyaAllah, Allah will never let you down

Hard work and patience is the ingredient that brings you far
Persevere and strive forward
For Rome is not built in one day
Nor can an optometrist become an expert in a blink of an eye

You may earn thousands of Ringgit
Yet, my dear self,
Never let money fool you
Never let money change who you are
Don't let greed overshadow your principles
Don't allow them from preventing you to do what's right

Happiness does not come from money
For it is only but a tool
Always remember, 
What you give to others
Are the only things that really belongs to you
For those are yours to bring you to Jannah

Also, please do remember this verse:
"And the (faithful) slaves of the Most Gracious (Allâh) 
are those who walk on the earth in humility and sedateness,
and when the foolish address them (with bad words)
 they reply back with mild words of gentleness."
(Al-Furqan: 63)

No matter how high you go
No matter how much money and power you possess
Walk down the streets with humility
Treat everyone with respect 
For we are all the same in Allah's eyes
Only piety makes one special to Him.

Last but not least...
Remember your dreams
Go for your goals
Fulfill your responsibilities
To Allah, to your parents, your family, 
your friends, your customers, and the ummah
And strive on to become beneficial
For Allah's sake
No matter what you do.

"And which you give in gift (to others),
in order that it may increase (your wealth by expecting to get a better one in return)
from other people's property, has no increase with Allah.  
But that which you give in charity
seeking Allah's Countenance then those, 
They shall have manifold increase"
(ar-Rum: 39)

~ whew... a long rant indeed.  Perhaps due to the prolonged silence from any rants previously?  Hmm.. may be.  Anyway.. that's all for this time.  Please remind me when I forget these things... May Allah bless you and me.

p/s:  please pray for me, I've a driving test on Wednesday, and I'm very nervous...