Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Spectacles… and More!

I have been silent for more than three weeks now... (well, maybe almost four). Forgive me for the lack of articles for the past month.

The semester break is over, and yes, the leisure time's up. I had to admit, this semester is tougher than the last, and yes, more pressure to. Third year of university is definitely not a breeze. I hope to do well, too. So I have had to do quite a lot of studying compared to last semester.

The term 'busy' this semester, does not really focus on my studies only. This semester, I hope to focus fully on amal islami as well. Juggling the two together is, admittedly, quite a handful. Yet I hope I may be able to do it. No… correction. I hope that, with strength from Allah, I may be able to do it.

Anyways… here's an entry from me. Something which I hope will substitute for the month long silence.

The door creaked open. A 20-year old girl with a merry smile entered, humming a tune. She greeted her housemates cheerfully. Evidently, she was elated. The reason? She had just brought a new pair of spectacles. A very nice pair too, for it was quite expensive, and is said to last for quite a while.

From that day onwards, she wore the glasses unfailingly, spending most of her waking hours with them on. At least, other than the times when she was praying or taking a shower, that is.

One morning, waking up from sleep, she discovered that her spectacles were missing. She was not very worried, for she was forgetful sometimes, but her things would normally turn up again after a while. Yet the glasses did not turn up at all, even when she got worried and searched high and low for them.

As days go by, the girl felt at loss without her spectacles. Thankfully it was during the holidays, so she would not need her spectacles on to see her lecture notes. She had to admit though, that she had taken her spectacles for granted all this while. She had not really thought of thanking Allah for the spectacles that Allah gave her to use, nor did she utilize them fully to seek for Allah's pleasure.

A week after the incident, the girl made a new pair of spectacles. Putting them on, she was delighted that the world become so sharply focused, and she was able to see everything so clearly again. There is no need to squint in order to observe things, no second guessing who are around her, and no more leaning so near to the computer screen in order to see the screen well. Smiling, she repeatedly said alhamdulillah.

She can see everything easily now, with her spectacles on. This time, she vowed to thank Allah fully for them, and use them for His sake…

We have had received so many things in life from Allah. Some things which we use regularly and some which we cherish and keep carefully. Some which we enjoy daily and others we neglect. Yet how many of these gifts have we thanked Allah for? Did we even feel and believe that our belongings and possessions are really from Allah, to begin with? Did we feel the need to use these gifts as tools and methods to get closer to Him, and to obtain His love?

Let us sit back and ponder upon the bounties from Allah. Thank Him for them, before they are taken away from you. Utilize them well to gain His pleasure and to gain Jannah, before you were asked in the day of judgement, "What did you do with the many things He showered you with?" and you were unable to answer. Nauzubillah

These gifts come in many different forms. It may be something as simple as a pair of glasses and a pair of shoes, or something we cherish, such as our laptops and hard disks, or something which Allah give to us alone, such as a special talent, or it may even be our intellect and even the gift of Islam. It may even be the ability to sleep, to be healthy, and to see and enjoy life itself. The list is endless.

Have we been thankful for all this and more?

Thank You, Allah!

"O Allah, forgive me for not thanking You for all the ni'mah (gifts) You have given me, the opportunities that You allow me to have, the family that You shower with Your love, the friends that care about me, the knowledge that You allow me to seek, and most importantly. For the gift of iman which You allow me to enjoy. Thank you, Allah, for all these, and many more… You are indeed the Most Gracious, Most Merciful."

This is an award from two friends, from quite a while ago.. thank you to both ukhtie Atiqah and ukhtie Sha (both of them gave me the same award). Jazakillahukhair to both of you..

This is all for now… please pray for me. I hope that, by His will, I may be able to write more soon, insyaAllah.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Stranger

This is a story I had read when I was in secondary school. I had found it again by chance while browsing thru Hence I decide to share it here, for all of us to ponder.


A few months before I was born, my dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer, and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the world a few months later.

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in our family. In my young mind, each member had a special niche. My brother, Bilal, five years my senior, was my example. Fatimah, my younger sister, gave me an opportunity to play big brother’ and develop the art of teasing. My parents were complementary instructors - Mom taught me to love the word of Allah, and Dad taught me to obey it. But the stranger was our storyteller. He could weave the most fascinating tales. Adventures, mysteries, and comedies were daily conversations. He could hold our whole family spell-bound for hours each evening.

If I wanted to know about politics, history, or science, he knew it. He knew about the past, understood the present, and seemingly could predict the future. The pictures he could draw were so life like that I would often laugh or cry as I watched. He was like a friend to the whole family. He took Dad, Bilal, and me to our first major league baseball game.

He was always encouraging us to see the movies and he even made arrangements to introduce us to several movie stars. The stranger was an incessant talker. Dad didn’t seem to mind but sometimes Mom would quietly get up while the rest of us were enthralled with one of his stories of faraway places, go to her room, and read her Qur’an and pray. I wonder now if she ever prayed that the stranger would leave.

You see, my dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions. But this stranger never felt an obligation to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our house - not for some of us, from our friends, or adults. Our longtime visitor, however, used occasional four letter words that turned my ears and made Dad squirm.

To my knowledge, the stranger was never confronted. My dad was a teetotaler who didn’t permit alcohol in his home, as good Muslims should. But the stranger felt like we needed exposure and enlightened us to other ways of life. He offered us beer and other alcoholic beverages often. He made cigarettes look tasty, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (probably too much, too freely) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing.

I know now that the stranger influenced my early concepts of the man-woman relationship. As I look back, I believe it was the grace of Allah that the stranger did not influence us more. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents. Yet, he was seldom rebuked and never asked to leave. More than thirty years have passed since the stranger moved in with the young family on Wangee Road.

He is not nearly so intriguing to my Dad as he was in those early years. But if I were to walk into my parents’ den today, you would still see him sitting over in a corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures… His name you ask? We called him TV.

Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and expiate from us our evil deeds, and make us die in the state of righteousness.

"O Allah, let our last days be the best days of our life and our last deeds be the best deeds, and let the best day be the day we meet You." (Surah Al- Imran Ayat 193)


[Written by a Muslim brother, for a nationwide essay competition in Canada. Needless to say, he took the first prize]

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I Apologize

Assalamualaikum wbt... In the name of Allah, the most Gracious, most Merciful.

Just a post to say... I'm sorry. To everyone who know me, virtually or in reality. Sorry for any mistakes I had made. Sorry for the hurt I may have caused. And sorry if, by any chance, anything I had done had hurt or offend any of you, in any way.

For those who went to any schools, camps or workshops with me, and for those who travelled together with me during the holidays, I'm sorry if I was noisy. Sorry if I ask too many questions, interrupted too often, or talked too much.

I am me. Though I try to improve, I know that I cannot change all at once. Plus… what I do, at the time, was what I felt was right.

I talked of Islam, of da'wah, and tarbiyah, not because I am perfect. Nor because I am a girl who had done so much herself. No, I am also just a girl who still have much to learn. But I share, because I care. Because I would dearly love my friends to understand what these matters mean, and to get involved in working for Islam as well. Furthermore, I wish that we can work together, in upholding this deen, and meet again in Jannah, insyaAllah. For I know that, despite the hardships of this road, at the end, Allah had promised His Pleasure and His paradise. Also because I hope, that one day, if I forget, someone will be there to remind me, and pull me back up in this path.

Then again, I know that sometimes, I do say things which is inapropriate, or unnecessary. And sometimes, because I am too direct, I tend to say things that may hurt people. I am trying to improve, but this does take time. So, I apologize. I admit that I talk without thinking first, at times. Forgive me for that, as well.

There are many other things about me, weaknesses which I am trying to overcome, and strength that I intend to, hopefully, improve on. Forgive me for the weaknesses, and do remind me, to help me improve myself. I am me, and I cannot change overnight. For who I am now, is based on the past experiences I have, the places I travelled to, and the understandings and beliefs which I hold to. Yet, I am trying to improve, to be a better girl, a better daughter, a better friend, a better citizen, a better Muslimah, and most importantly, be a better servant to Allah. Thus, I welcome you to help me along the journey. Lead me on, and guide me towards His pleasure.

Before I end, I'd like to repeat, I am sorry, everyone.

And Jazakumullahukahiran kathira, to those of you who have helped me so far. May Allah reward your deeds…

Forgive me..