Monday, October 6, 2014

Back and Changed

For records, I left this blog dead for two years. Blame it on Facebook and laziness to read and write! And things have changed so much since then. No longer a degree student majoring English, I'm now a wife and a working mother! Can't believe it myself though. Here's my new blog - Stumbling Traveler, as a new mother,I am writing about this new exciting world. Just praying I get enough time and willpower to write consistently.

This blog will stay as it is, possibly deleted after some time. Welcome to my new blog!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Content and Approach

A fair few times, when I was watching videos by Aiman Azlan, Adibah and MatLutfhi the popular vloggers, I couldn't help but noticing some comments and those comments are shallow. For example, these vloggers are sending a strong and serious message through their own unique ways, but a lot of people would complement how cute they are, how awesome their English are and how they wish to speak great English too, noting funny incidents in the video and how funny is the style of talking.

The talk condensed with great content, and issues to ponder, and all you can say is how cute is the video?? Besides, I've seen nasyeed songs with meaningful lyrics to reflect and most people complement the music, rhythm and forgetting the depth of the message.

 The style and approach is so much taken into account that the real thing, the content is put aside.  We should't be so shallow. Islam is a religion of depth thinking, the Quran itself needs reflection and digestion of the messages on our part, not just simply, surface reading.

Prof Tariq Ramadhan send a brief yet strong message to Muslims in Ramadhan on his talk recently in UIA.
He said: Eat less. Think more. 

The Passing of Time

Three months since the last post! But actually I had several unfinished posts, left dusty in the draft until I had no desire to complete what I wrote. What made this three months silence period was that I was waiting for a perfect moment to start writing, even if I had the inspiration, time wasn't enough. And when holidays and perfect leisure of time came, ideas did not follow. Hence the dusty blog.

It's been a great year, full of events, emotions and unexpected happenings. I have been given responsibilities, made new friends and seen new things. Over time, Allah has toughen me up, to be positive, yet watchful and realistic and not blindly optimistic. Every small thing that occur has a meaning, whether we care look into it or let it pass, therefore we should learn to appreciate everyone, and everything that happened around us, or to us, regardless a bad or good thing, for Allah always has something for us and indeed He knows best.

PMIUSM, Persatuan Mahasiswa Islam USM, or the Muslims' Student Association of USM. It is a legal student body representing Muslim students and works to spread Islam, and run Islamic programmes for students on campus, basically dedicated to dakwah. It is what makes my campus life meaningful over the past two years (two years already!) aside learning literature. For all the hardships and sacrifices we went through, not only the committee and exco but also the committed members whom are all my brothers and sisters, there is sweetness in it. The sweetness, given by Allah is the rahmat and blessings, and ukhuwah which can be felt when we work together for His cause, for Islam. Alhamdulillah, all praises to Allah who made all these happen, I learnt so many things from so many people. It's not about being appointed an exco, but being able to contribute to Islam. The littlest things can be an act of worship if we have the correct intentions. What I want to express about PMIUSM is beyond words actually. Subhanallah, Alhamdulillah, Allahuakbar.

And, with mixed emotions I was again appointed as an exco with the same position (Information and Multimedia), when many good friends are leaving USM for graduation; Allah has put me here with His reasons. I want to do better than what did previously, and to commit to unfinished responsibilities also bring new things. It is actually a blessing that I was given another chance to help PMIUSM and others, on top of that helping myself improve as an individual who can contribute back to the ummah. I know when I leave USM I will miss PMIUSM and it's people the most.

So much truth in this quote, I love it:
Those who went through it, feel it. We don't become strong through theoretical work but practical. Real exposure, real people and crazily unexpected situations. Things are always seemingly impossible until it is done!

I am about to face major changes in life, it makes me ponder about life more...
Not too late for me to wish a great and meaningful Ramadhan for everyone. Concluding this historical (haha, sort of, because of the almost yearly update) post, I leave with this wonderful hadeeth:

"Strange are the ways of a believer for there is good in every affair of his and this is not the case with anyone else except in the case of a believer for if he has an occasion to feel delight, he thanks (God), thus there is a good for him in it, and if he gets into trouble and shown resignation (and endures it patiently), there is a good for him in it." [Saheeh Muslim]

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dunia ini medan ujian orang beriman

Ketika melihat musibah dan tragedi menimpa orang lain, kadang-kadang kita juga terfikir apakah kita pun akan diuji sebegitu. Masa hadapan yang misteri, kita hanyalah merancang namun Allah yang Maha Menentukan. Sedarlah bahawa dunia bukan tempat kita nak bersenang dan bergembira, kerana ia hanyalah tempat persinggahan seketika sebelum tiba ke destinasi kekal abadi, syurga atau neraka. Kita merancang yang terbaik tapi Allah lah yang lebih mengetahui apa yang terbaik buat kita. He gives us what we need but not what we desire. Berat mata memandang sahabat2 dan saudara yang ditimpa musibah yang seemingly impossible for ourselves to handle, janganlah merasa Allah menzalimi mereka kerana itulah yang terbaik walaupun hikmahnya belum ditunjukkan. Bergembiralah mereka yang mudah masuk ke syurga kerana mendapat keampunan dosa hasil bersabar dari musbibah yang menimpa. Daripada kita yang hidup senang walaupun dalam jalan dakwah dan perjuangan Islam, belum tentu Allah terima amalan kita. Astagfirullah.

"Dunia itu penjara bagi orang beriman dan syurga bagi orang kafir." (Hadis Riwayat Ahmad)

Ingatlah.. Dunia tempat menanam, akhirat tempat menuai. Waktu menanam memanglah susah, tidak semudah waktu menuai. Tetapi tanpa melalui kesusahan, kita tidak akan dapat menikmati kesenangan. Jangan sekali-kali mengikut ajakan syaitan dan godaan nafsu menyuruh berbuat jahat dan kemungkaran. Seorang mukmin tahu dengan yakin, dunia bukan negeri yang mulia. Tempat sekadar persingahan yang sementara.

Abu Said meriwayatkan, Rasullullah SAW bersabda "Nabi Musa a.s. berkata :  "Wahai Rabb, sungguh engkau telah menutup dunia untuk hamba-Mu yang beriman!"
Lalu Allah SWT membukakan salah satuu pintu syurga  seraya berfirman maksudnya :  " Inilah yang Ku- persiapkan untuknya"

Nabi Musa a.s.  berkata : "Demi kemuliaan dan keagungan dan ketinggian kedudukan-Mu, andaikan ada orang yang dipotong kedua tangan dan kakinya lalu diseret wajahnya semenjak Engkau menciptakannya sampai hari kiamat, kemudian ini (syurga) ialah tempat kembalinya, tentu seakan ia sama sekali tak ingat lagi akan seksaan."

Nabi Musa a.s. berkata :  "Wahai Rabb, sungguh engkau memberi kenikmatan  kepada orang kafir..." Lalu Dia membukakan untuknya salah satu pintu neraka, seraya berfirman maksudnya : "Inilah yang Ku-persiapkan untuknya."

Nabi Musa a.s.  berkata : "Wahai Rabb, Demi Kemuliaan-Mu, andai Engkau berikan kepadanya dunia beserta isinya, dan ia seperti itu terus sejak Engkau menciptakannya sampai hari kiamat, kemudian ini (neraka) ialah tempat kembalinya, maka  seakan ia tak pernah merasakan kebaikan sama sekali'."
(Hadis Riwayat Ad-Dailami dengan sanad shahih Abu Said)

Hidup di dunia ini medan ujian untuk orang beriman!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Twenty Two

Subhanallah, Alhamdulillah, Allahuakbar. I am 22 and still breathing fresh air, alive and kicking. I went from 21 to 22 feeling almost bad; I don't know what I was doing half the time and now I'm suddenly 22 and my mum's suddenly talking about marriage! At 22 she had two children you know. Anyway, the number TWENTY-TWO is large for me and thankfully reminds me a lot of unfilled promises, and huge huge responsibilities.

This one-month semester holiday has been a great time for reflections. Seeing other people's conditions - I went to see many sick, old and really poor people with my mum and her friends - it's always eye opening and heartening. If they are tested with illnesses and financially struggling, Allah's test for me are health and wealth.  Why are they tests? Well, Allah tests each people differently. In the hereafter, I will be asked what have I done for the ummah, for Islam with my youth, health, wealth and free time. With great things in life and comes great responsibilities. While some people are still thinking of how to gain money for something to eat and sustain basic needs in life, I am free from those constraints, that means I should go out for da'wah and fight for Islam.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Some sharing of What I Study

My days are inching towards the exam weeks, I want to get warm up on my studies. This is an academic post! I just wanna share to all you readers about some of the things I study. My course is English Language & Literature Studies. I am only going to elaborate on Literature only because I don't feel like talking about Linguistics after the test I just had today.

How do I describe this course? I absolutely love this, lectures and all.For the first half of the semester we studied Feminism. Now that I've studied it, feminism isn't all that bad. The early feminist movement fought for the right for women to earn equal wage , the right to tertiary education and voting. Quite a time ago, the Western society was very patriarchal, and underestimate women; they were thought to exist only to be a wife and mother. But at the current context, feminist movement and groups are fighting against polygamy (a right Allah gave for Muslim men, and only He knows the best) I am against that. Feminism against domestic abuse, women empowerment and all that, I support. Even female writers had to disguise as male writers back then to get their books published. We studied feminism through the novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and some short stories and poem (haven't done my revision yet, all my wires tangled due to so much stories).

For the second half of the semester, we studied Postcolonialism. Ha, I love this even better. It's complicated to explain since the subject is still being defined and debated, but simply it is the study of the effects of colonialism on people and culture. Colonialism affected almost everything, knowledge, politics, law, language, sociology, art & literature, food and architecture are among the things I can think of. We are also exposed to how back then the imperial forces like British, French and German look at the East as barbarians and think it falls on their responsibilities to educate and civilize these people. Though those are just justifications for their act of ruling over others and robbing native people of their country's resources. Before the time of imperialism, native people were happy with their culture and rules. Okay before I give you misleading information, go do more research on post colonialism on Wiki because it's very interesting. The literary texts we studied were novel: 'Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achibe, short stories: The Force of Circumstances by Sommerset, and Youth by Joseph Conrad.

In this subject, we also learn about politics, history, society. We observed how the famous authors like Charles Dickens, Mary Shelley - author of Frankestein (whose mother was one of the earliest and extreme femenist.) Also taking into account the French Revolutions; the effects spread throughout Europe, the Industrial Revolution and God knows what. Generally the important things that happened that shaped the society back then. When I say shaped the society it means also to have affect in arts and literature. We studied Charles Dicken's Great Expectations. George Orwell's Animal Farm - so simple yet so deep! Lord of the Flies by William Golding, Remains of The Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. First half of the semester studying 19th Century Literature was more focused on what happened in Europe and England at the time - issued like wealth, power, social classes, and personal quest for social acceptance. Second half of this subject --20th Century Novels are more related to politics and culture.

Studying literature also means much of watching black and white truly classic movies in class.
I hope my classmates or worse, lecturer doesn't come across this. This was written in a rush, driven by enthusiasm so the English is rather bad.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

After a year of literature

I'm really glad I took literature. I can't imagine how it would have been if I took up other courses, even though I am interested in politics, civilization and history. But of course, since after PMR I have always imagined myself taking up something like this, relating to English somehow other. LITERATURE is so vast that it cannot be defined simply and accurately. Through studying literature, I have learnt about politics, cultures, history, psychology and sociology. These terms themselves are wide in definition as literature. I have learnt how to read a fiction critically after a year of studying literature. Alhamdulillah. Though I can't say I have been a good student cos I have other things that keep me busy too, but learning about these things are always fun and eye opening. I enjoy studying postcolonialism. Now I look at the European and American in a different light.

Tomorrow we are required to go for an acting audition for Shakesphere's A Midsummer's Night's Dream. Hrm.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Video Hina Hudud: How they dared

Whoa, the title makes me sound emotional. I am in no position of ustazah and ulama' having vast knowledge of syariah, but I am just a practicing Muslim, a daie, trying to integrate Islam into my life and concerned about issues affecting religion and the ummah. There's a couple of videos shared all over Facebook, about "sembang rakyat" -a group of citizens discussing political issues. The topics discussed- Lagi Hudud PAS & Musim Hudud - they are dangerously flippant with ALLAH's  law. It is okay to disagree with a political party and ideology, but to attack and curse what Allah has sent down to us through the Glorious Quran, how dispacable! Regardless of political preference, if you are a Muslim, it is unquestionable to submit to Allah's law!

We can't get worked up and angry blindly. With reasons for being offended, Muslims should also come up with an explanation and solutions. I read ex-president of GAMIS's facebook status, they are going to counter with a video of explanation, after they have reported the video to police. Islam lawan dengan hujah bukan emosi. Yeah that's the way ahead, bravo young people!

After being angry to those people in the video and reflecting, there is so much more to that. I guessed that if they knew how big the issue of Hudud, and how angry Allah will be they won't do it. Woe to the scriptwriters, cameraman and those involves. They lack Islamic knowledge and sensitivity and I hope they realized it and have time for repentance before they die.

I don't think we should disregard the videos, maybe some people say its just a stupid matter unworthy of attention and anger. But it may affect our beliefs- aqidah- dangerously, for people generally who lack knowledge on Islam. Before people get more misled, it is better to act than stay put.

And judge, [O Muhammad], between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations and beware of them, lest they tempt you away from some of what Allah has revealed to you. And if they turn away - then know that Allah only intends to afflict them with some of their [own] sins. And indeed, many among the people are defiantly disobedient. (Al Ma'idah: 49)

After all, what we should be doing is 'amal ma'ruf nahi mungkar'. Many are practicing amal ma'ruf, but many have forgotten to apply 'nahi mungkar'. I guess it's a bit harder, but just remember what Allah promised.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Hijrah NOW!

Turning almost 22, I cannot recount how many talks on Hijrah have I listened to. Yet I am still the old me, dirty with sins; hardly changed and if I do, only temporarily. How many of us make the effort to REALLY CHANGE I wonder. I don't want to be at age 55 in Maal Hijrah with my iman and spirit the same old and not progressive. Of course we have our ups and downs, but we some progress of faith and knowledge must happen.

We organize and attend events, we get into the spirit of Hijrah only once a year, but what is really the EFFECT of Hijrah on us? Not deep I guess since when the Hijrah moments leave us we fall back into mundane matters.

Hijrah was a really huge event in the history of Islam, a turning point which Muslims defended their aqidah and left for Madinah from orders from Allah. Marked a new life, new beginning of a civilization back 1433 years ago.  Hijrah is explores the meaning of sacrifice, jihad, patience. It isn't a traditional yearly event with seasonal spirits. Hijrah is about changing from bad to good. From good to better. And always improving. Walk, crawl, run. It requires strength of willpower, self control and deep reflection. And CONSISTENCY! This is a self reminder, may you benefit too, insyaallah.

The past doesn't change. But memories are made every second. Hijrah now.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Just Saying Something

I saw an anynomous comment asking me to update this blog and it triggered me to write something, anything. For now I am a bit busy (or I might be pretending to be busy over small things..) Exactly one month into this semester, things are happening so fast, one event after another, and I am quite happy over the quickness of time and being busy keeps my mind and body occupied. Then I have not much time to do lagha stuff like watching Korean dramas episode after episodes, or long hours of sleeping in the evening; not that much luxury of time I have.

This semester we're doing 19th and 20th Century Novels. Literature is wonderful. It takes us back in time into almost 200 years ago, helped with watching those truly classic black and white movies in class. Now I can say I enjoy reading the literary texts, for Great Expectations and Jane Eyre are so much better than 1984. It's not enjoyable to realize I only have two years left then I have to work. Studying keeps the mind working and expanding, because it's always exploring new things, not doing things repetitively when working.

I have been attending this weekly talk by new brothers and sisters in Islam (muallaf) in my faculty (School of Humanities). The impact is big, their words hit me and all of us born-Muslims in the room. We are not so aware of their obstacles they encountered when they decided to convert to Islam and how they struggled to learn and seek acceptance and understanding within their ethnic communities, and family especially. Well even if we knew we did nothing much I guess.. I have only listened to three muallafs. One of them, he got beaten by his family until he fell into a coma for six months. Their stories involved dramatic scenes you don't see everyday; beaten with metal sticks until his bones crushed and his skull dented (and still defending his faith in Islam!!) Escaping their comfortable homes to sleep on bus stops and streets, getting mocked by fellow born Muslims for wanting to embrace Islam (what kinda Muslim are these people?), getting sacked 7 times because her father stalked and spread lies about her, captured by a bomoh paid by her father (saying magicians make Harry Potter look bad).
Subhanallah, the things they endured! My greatest admiration for them. Make me wanna kick myself for taking Islam for granted. Allahuakbar. May Allah bless them all and help those still finding the true path.

Friends from PMIUSM and those people in this path of dakwah and makes studying in USM so worthwhile. They are so inspiring.. I cherish the ukhuwah (love for the sake of Allah) and getting stressed, sad and happy working together for the common cause, for the ummah and seeking Allah's pleasure, all of that is just priceless!

For my blog, being busy kills creativity. That's why I write about my updates because that is all I have in mind.

That's it for now. Wait for the next post, then I may write something on a better topic with good construction of sentences and proper spellings and all (in case Ayah is reading this!) Writing things about myself in this blog for everyone's reading just makes me sound so self centred.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Open Your Eyes

The Mu’minoon are but a single Brotherhood.” (Al Hujurat:10)

When it comes to concerts themed with remembering Palestine, so people would flock to these concerts. But when it comes to the real issues, many don't really care. Talk about the least effort, like keeping updated with the news on Palestine, people generally realize the prolonged suffering but who gives a damn about the details? With hedonisme as the current trend, our society has become entertainment-oriented, so if there is no concert on spreading the awareness, there would be much less concern.

I am trying to say here, that it is always all right to attend any Palestine concerts but do act like a true Muslim whose sisters and brothers are in constant fear and grave danger. Being CONCERNED is more than just listening to Palestine-related entertainment. It is keeping up with what is happening, boycotting, praying for them, spreading awareness by sharing what you know with others.

Do we really care about what happens to our brothers and sisters in Syria? Pakistan? China? Or our fellow Muslims in Europe and US facing Islamophobia? Open our eyes to Muslim issues around the world! There is an estimated 1.5 billion Muslims around the earth, and most are not living in luxurious lives like we are.

We are being lulled into a false sense of secuirity in our own comfort zones. While we indulge ourselves in entertainment, food and ease of doing everything, Islam is in threat. Enemies of Islam are planning and working, and us, what are we doing? Hedonisme is the new culture and is fast killing oursleves. Muslim youth let us stand together in faith not race, we are generation of hope, we cannot sit and wait for Muslim heroes to emerge from nowhere because WE are the heroes, insyaallah!

"A Muslim is the brother of another Muslim. He does not oppress him, nor does he leave him at the mercy of others." (Sahih Muslim Book 032, Number 6219)

Why must we care? We are all bonded by Aqeedah. Unlike other bonds (nationalistic, patriotic, etc.) which are superficial, animalistic, reactive, emotional, and completely devoid of a real solution for life’s affairs, the intellectuality of the ideological bond of Islam unites man irrespective of their race, nationality, and other factors which are irrelevant when it comes to bonding on an ideological creed. So let's prove that we are brothers and sisters by our actions. Start by opening our eyes to issues surrounding the world of Muslims.

I conclude this piece with a beautiful and thought-provoking poem (unfortunately not by me because mine are worthless) by Nazia Naqvi, Silence.

The silence between the gunshot and the drop...
one more Palestinian child shot.
The silence between his last call to salvation and the rock fallin from his hand...
The silence of a boy who will never be a man.
The 10 seconds of silence we take when we hear his story.
The very silence that embodies his moment of glory.
The silence of it all on American T.V.
The silence we hold inside, thinkin, "I'm glad it wasn't me." That silence we claim to detest, but in it we find a place of rest.
Your heart, your mind and soul left unshaken with steady breath of your chest.
The silence of us saying nothin but never failing to blame the rest.
We scream out our words, but hide our actions...
mostly cuz we're jus too proud.
We preach for revolution to the same old crowd...
but aint no one gonna hear us...
when the silence is so loud.


*what an emotionally driven piece of writing..