Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Improve Yourself

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim,

I bought a book at PICC during the Twins of Faith event last year entitled 'Enjoy your life' by Dr. Muhammad Al-'Areefi. Basically, this is how it actually looks like ;
This is one of my favourite book because it has A LOT of stories for us to read, sit and ponder back on our actions. We read and we learn the right way to interact with people around us. So, I am going to share one of the stories from this book which really captured my heart. Hope it captures yours too. ;)

You sit with someone who is 20 years old and notice that he has particular etiquettes, logic and thought. You then sit with him when he is 30 to discover that he is exactly the way he was ten years ago and has not improved at all. Yet, you sit with others and you feel that they are actually taking benefit from their lives. You discover that they improve themselves on a daily basis. In fact, not an hour passes except that they improve either religiously or otherwise. If you wish to ponder upon the different types of people with respect to self-improvement, then think about the following :

There are those who like to watch those satellite television channels that help their general knowledge and intelligence grow. They benefit from other people's experiences by watching constructive discussions, from which they learn the characteristics of debating and improve their language, understanding and expertise in debate and persuasion.

Then there are those who cannot miss out on a series about a failed love story, or an emotional play, or a horror film, or films about useless fantasies with no link to reality at all. Notice the difference between the two after 5 or 10 years. Which of the two would have improved the most in his skills and ability to fathom information, gain general knowledge, have the power to convince others or successfully be able to cope with diverse situations?. No doubt the first person! You will find the mannerism of the first person to be completely different. Hence, if you would like to be a head instead of a tail, then eagerly try to practice all skills, regardless of what they may be.

"Abdullah was an energetic person but lacking in certain skills. One day, he left his home to pray Dhuhr in the mosque. It was his zeal for the prayer and respect for his religion which brought him out to pray. He was walking fast in order to reach the mosque before the Iqamah was given. On his way, he passed by a date-palm tree on top of which there was a man in uniform, working on the tree. "Abdullah became surprised and thought, "Who is this man that does not care about the prayer! It is as if he didn't even hear the Adhan, or doesn't care about the Iqamah, which is about to go!" 
He shouted in anger, "Get down and pray!"
The man responded coldly, "OK, OK..."
He said, again, "Hurry up and pray, you donkey!"
The man screamed, "You called me a donkey?!" He then took a branch of the tree and descended in order to hit him over the head with it! 'Abdullah hid his face with his headscarf so the man wouldn't recognise him and went on to the mosque. The man descended from the tree in anger, went to his house, prayed and rested for a while. He then returned to the tree to finish his job. Then, 'Asr time came and 'Abdullah went to the mosque again. On his way, he passed by the same tree and noticed the same man working. He decided to change his method altogether and said, 'Assalamualaikum! How are you?"
The man replied, "Alhamdulillah, I am fine!"
He said, "Give me some good news. How are the dates this year?"
The man said, "Alhamdulillah."
'Abdullah said, "May Allah give you success and provision, make your life easy for you and not deprive you of the reward for your work!"
The man was overjoyed at hearing this supplication and said ameen to the prayer.
'Abdullah then said, "It seems that you are so preoccupied with work that perhaps you didn't notice the Adhan for 'Asr prayer. The Adhan has been called and the Iqamah is about to be given. Perhaps you should get down, relax a little and get ready for prayer. After the prayer you can get on with your work again. May Allah keep you healthy."
The man said, "InsyaAllah...InsyaAllah..." and began to descend gently.
He then turned to 'Abdullah, shook his hand warmly and said, "I would like to thank you for your excellent manners. As for the one who passed by me at Dhuhr time, I wish I could see him and show him who the real donkey is!"

Lesson to be learnt : Your skills of dealing with others determine how they deal with you. ^^, 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Al-Hujurat [49:10]

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim,

This post this time is just as a reminder for all of us especially the muslimahs! ^^, May this will benefit us insyaAllah. :)

"Dan sesungguhnya orang-orang mukmin itu bersaudara, kerana itu damaikanlah antara kedua saudaramu(yang berselisih) dan bertakwalah kepada Allah agar kamu mendapat rahmat." [49:10]

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Turning Points

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim,

Okay, as I promised, I will be sharing about my turning point events here. I am trying my very best to make it as brief as possible. I hope my story here will inspire or be some sort of driving force for others to get back on the right track insyaAllah. I don't know about others but whenever I meet people who are on the same track as me, their turning point in their life would be a great experience and very inspiring for me.

Everything started when I was at my matriculation college. I still remember when one of my close friend gave me a novel as a present. It was entitled 'Seindah Mawar Berduri' by Fatimah Syarha. Have anyone of you read the book? I hope you will have the time to buy and read it. It was about a girl who is very sure about her identity as a Muslim. She's full of principles. There's not a day of her life goes by without reciting Al-Quran. She covers her aurah well which is by wearing hijab of 50-60 inch. The story shows how she manages to deal with her studies, friends, family, marriage and most importantly about usrah. THAT was my very first time in life knowing that word...USRAH, understanding the correct definition of it. And the best part is, the narration of the story took place at UKM!

Ookay, can you imagine people reading the Quran everyday? Really understanding the tafsir and applying the lessons learnt from it in life? I was truly impressed because I still remember that I only really memorised part of the Quran when I was in primary. During secondary, I depended everything on the Pendidikan Islam subject. I was not that good. I usually try to finish 30 juz of the Quran during Ramadhan and...that's it. I never really try to go and buy the tafsir of the Quran and read it. I did not know why...but then after reading the novel, I was awestruck by it! I cannot believe that there are those kind of people in this world, specifically in UKM, Malaysia! haha. Besides, here's my secret..since the narration took place in UKM, I was wondering whether does those kind of people really exist there? So, after my matriculation when I was filling the UPU form, some of my choices were at UKM and I really prayed so that I will get enrolled in UKM. How silly of me! But anyway, thanks to my silliness, I got enrolled at UKM! :P

The first week at UKM which was the orientation week, there was always a break for Zuhr & 'Asr prayer and I usually sit at the surau in the engineering faculty. One day, while waiting for Zuhr prayer, there was a senior who came to me. We were getting to know each other and suddenly she asked "Adik pernah dengar pasal usrah tak?" and I answered yes, I had. She asked me back "Adik nak join usrah tak dengan akak?". I was speechless for some time. The only thing in my mind at that point of time was "Subhanallah, Allahuakbar!". It's true that when you are searching for the way to get nearer to Allah, He will listen to you and give you all the help to get right back on track. I said yes to her. The main reason of why I wanted to join Usrah a.k.a bulatan gembira is because I wonder at university there's no subject on Pendidikan Islam for my course so how should I manage myself, my attitude and behavior there to always be a good person? In addition, we always hear that some people when they enter university, they might have culture shock, get distracted and etc. So, what is the thing that can control me so that I will always change to be a better person and the only answer for me at that time was usrah.

I was very excited the first time I went for usrah. haha. I bought my own tafsir of the Quran! I started to understand the meaning of the surahs' that I read and learned about ukhuwah, the Prophet's stories and much more. I learnt new arabic terms in usrah such as akhawat, uhibbuki fillah and the list goes on but there were times when I felt like quitting. I felt like usrah was a burden for me. I had to divide my time to study and to attend usrah. I knew that I was kind of 'futur' that time. It's true that if you want to enter the Paradise, you have to strive hard for it! It is stated in Surah al-ankabut verse 2 & 3 that "Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, We believe, and not be tried? And certainly We tried those before them, so Allah will certainly know those who are true and He will certainly know the liars."

[ p/s : To those who really want to know about the definition of usrah and some of the term that I will use later on, you can visit Inche Gabbana's blog. Thanks to him for creating a dictionary of some of the D & T's term. D & T = Dakwah & Tarbiyah. ] :D

Although I was in the usrah for the first two years at UKM, I was not committed to it at all. I pity my naqibah for that. She must have struggled a lot to get me committed to usrah. There was another reason for me being quite rebellious that time. You know, when I first started usrah, the way I dress was still the same. I wore the normal 40-45 inch hijab, my t-shirt was not that long, not wearing socks and handsock yet but my naqibah was not criticizing me by the way I dressed. She was okay with it because she said that, once when I learn to know Allah, understand Islam better then I, myself will change the way I dress in order to impress Allah and not because of my own naqibah and usrahmates. I was really grateful to Allah for sending her to me. But later on, there was once when we had gathering with people from other usrah and there was a person who judged me by the way I dressed. Can you imagine someone looking at you from head to toe skeptically?. I was taken aback by her reaction and started to rebel. Not attending usrah regularly but as weeks and months passed by, I realized that I was being stupid for doing that. I was being injustice to myself! I learned that no matter how others think about you, you should only ponder on what Allah thinks about the way you live your life. I almost forgot that the reason I wanted to change to be a better person is all because of Allah and not because of His creation. Then, my intention to change to be a better Muslim only for Allah grew stronger. Alhamdulillah. :)

The biggest turning point for me was during my third year. It was the year where I had to do my internship. I already had a place to do my internship but I had no place to stay. So, when I told my naqibah about it, she arranged a place for me to rent and stay. Alhamdulillah, I was really grateful to Allah and her for helping me. I still remember myself entering the house, everything was quite awkward for me. Everything seemed new and hmmm distant? It was a house of akhawat nearby to my internship place. There were total of almost 14 people in the house but the house was not crowded at all. The people in the house were encouraged to do congregational prayers for all five times a day to those who are in the house. There's a cooking schedule to be followed and thanks to that schedule that I learned very hard to cook but alhamdulillah my housemates were not fussy at all. Honestly, I had a culture shock when I first entered the house because they were really practicing the sunnah of our Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h in their daily life. Then, I realized that there ARE differences when you mingle with people who are in this D & T and with those who are not. Because in D & T, our ukhuwwah is only for Allah. Everything that we do, is only to get His blessing. So, we don't really have the ego and pride between each other. But here I must stress that everybody are not the same and not perfect. Although some of them are in D & T, but they may have weaknesses in them to be improved. So, please do not judge them. We can either help them by advising them and if they do not accept our help, just pray for them. Never hate the sinner, hate the sin that they're doing. ^^, Therefore, from there, I realized that I can benefit a lot from usrah. I learnt to build a better relationship with Allah, building my character and building my relationship with my family, cousins, friends and people around me. I learned about ikhtilat as well and there should be a bridge when having a conversation between a guy and a girl. So, at the end of my third year, my resolution was to get committed to usrah and other programs organized by my naqibah.

Usrah a.k.a bulatan gembira :)
On top of that, want to know what I had gone through during my fourth year? It was the year where it was my turn with kak Zirah to lead a new usrah. It was totally a new experience for both of us. Alhamdulillah I learned a lot from kak Zirah as well. Jazakallah khair kak Zirah! Our mutarabbis' looked so naive and innocent when I first met them. (",) They were our juniors at UKM. Both kak Zirah and I were very impressed by their strong will to get to know more about Islam. So, basically, both of us worked extra hard to read and understand more about things that they asked us so that we can give a better explanation to them. It was a wonderful experience for me since it was my final year and regardless of my fyp, I had to manage my time to attend usrah and arrange usrah with my juniors. Then only, I understood the term of da'ie. Being a daie is not an easy job...its like being a doctor for the ummah. You cannot deviate from the track that you're in because you have to be a qudwah hasanah for others to follow.

Last but not the least, I see the changes in myself since my first year at UKM. I see myself grow to always improve to be better and the best for myself. I started to try to read the Quran everyday and that's one of the best way to ditch away all the negative feelings in you. In Surah Ar-Raad, verse 28 it is stated that "Those who believe and those whose hearts are set at rest by the remembrance of Allah, now surely by Allah's remembrance are the hearts set at rest." Besides, as I said before, if we want to talk to Allah then pray but if we want Allah to talk to us then read the Quran for there's a lot of lesson that we can learn and apply it in our life insyaAllah.

Have you ever realized that there's always this moment when you are having problems and don't know what to do, and when you open up the Quran and read it as well as the tafsir, you find the answers or soothing verses from Allah to calm you down and help you?. Now, that is the specialty of the Quran!

Alhamdulillah, I guess that's all from me and I hope whoever who read this post will get benefit from it and I pray so that Allah will give you the strength to make a change in your life to be the best for yourself and people around you. Amin!