Living the Life of a Traveller

Bismillahirrahmaanirraheem…

Assalamualaikum Wrt. Wbt.

It’s been a month since I last blogged and a week since I last posted anything on social media. I have been really busy with life. Alhamdulillah I am currently in Istanbul, Turkey. I have been in Turkey for more than three weeks now for a student exchange in one of the universities here. InsyaAllah I will be here for the next four months.

Life has been quite overwhelming although classes are quite underwhelming to be honest. Classes are underwhelming because some classes are in Turkish and I am not really used to the way classes are taught here. However other than that, life has been quite a ride. I am blogging this so that I could reminisce again one day of the bitter sweet memories I have while being in Turkey without my husband and family.

Traveller – a person who moves around from place to place instead of living in one place for a long time (Merriam-Webster)

I would not really call myself a traveller cz I still call Singapore home. However ever since I got married, I am hardly seen in SG. It’s either I was in KL or just somewhere on earth. Right before I came to Turkey, my bestfriend’s mum whom have not met me for a long time suddenly asked me “lepas ni nak pergi mana pula” which translates to “where are you going after this?”. She didn’t know I was going to Turkey but her question just shows how predictable my life has become. Travelling seems to be a constant for me now.

Travelling is both a privilege and challenge. A privilege because Alhamdulillah I am able to witness the beauty of Allah’s creation that I may not experience in Singapore. A challenge because, yeah, I am on my own in a foreign country.

My husband sent me to Turkey and we had like a week of second honeymoon before school starts. Second honeymoon because we had our very first honeymoon in Istanbul, Turkey. Hehe. We managed to go to beautiful cities like Konya and Cappadocia. Alhamdulillah we got to ride on a hot air balloon despite the chances of flight (what hot air balloon ride is called!) were extremely low due to strong wind. If anyone would like me to list down the prices and itinerary for these two cities that we went, do inform me, yeah!

After a week, my husband had to leave. While Uber-ing to my dormitory alone, that was when reality hits me hard. I felt kind of vulnerable. Can I survive without my husband? I mean like, this isn’t Malaysia where I can just go back and forth SG as and when. This is the real deal. I am in charged of my own finance, safety and comfort. It.was.scary.

Scary or not, vulnerable or not, this is it. My husband and I have agreed to this and we are in it and no looking back. These are some things that I have learnt throughout 2 weeks plus being in Turkey without my husband.

1. Friends are families

New room mates who are like family.

I have learnt when I stayed in Jordan with my husband for almost two years, our friends are our families. Being kind to others and supporting one another like families are really important. Especially if you travelled to a country alone with no one whom you know, strangers became friends who eventually became like family. Alhamdulillah I have few friends who were stranger but I am able to call family now.

2. Problem? Solve it!

Lovely previous room mates. The only thing I missed about the previous dorm is them.

Oh well yes. My husband has always been the one searching for the perfect home for us. The first week I was here, I stayed in a girl’s dormitory that was kind of far from my campus. It was actually not that far but argh… I have been to several Arab countries and I experienced their traffic jam. But nothing could beat the jam and sardine-packed bus here in Istanbul! SubhanAllah. I felt really bad whenever I am surrounded by huge men which is too close for comfort. Istighfar like nobody’s business underneath my niqaab, man.
I pitied my Malaysian friend for always having to hear me whine about the traffic so I decided to solve the problem by searching a new home for us. Well, it was not easy. Asked around Malaysian students here if they know of a place for two person but none. So I had to search websites after websites and scroll through properties from Airbnb app for daysss. I tried to make sure the location and place are suitable, calculated rent prices, sent messages to property owners, tried dealing with them, etc. I was silently hoping my husband is here with me to take over this job.

No surprise but Alhamdulillah Allah answered my prayers and gave me the best I could ever ask for. The location and size of current home is perfect, rent price is within budget, property owner is one of the kindest people my friends and I have ever met. Best part, we can finally cook our own meals! Rice everyday, Alhamdulillah!

3. Time management and being productive

To be honest, I am still trying to settle down and get productive. I have zero pressure from school and I have a list of things I wish I could complete by the time I end my exchange program which is in early Feb. However I am just not quite in the zone yet. I know it is as easy as just starting, but I am giving myself lotssss of excuses. I am quite anxious when I am reminded that I have less than 4 months here yet I have done nothing. InsyaAllah this post will be a boost for me to keep up with everything that I wish to do.
If you have not known yet, I have recreated an Instagram account (n.shikinsalim). As I have been quite busy moving place and settling down, I paused for a moment sharing my experience here in Turkey. My intention of sharing my stories so that those who are concern about my whereabouts will get informed of what I am up to and at the same time I am trying to display my clothing line that I am in with my mom and sister when I wear items from our brand, Maishi. InsyaAllah I will try to post on my IG daily!

4. Learning about myself

Well well well. Where do I start. I believe one of the greatest takeaways thus far is that I learn about myself more. Not that I do not know of a certain traits or characteristics that I have before travelling, but it becomes crisp and crystal clear. Good or bad, those are for me to ponder and work on. It is just something about being away from people whom you are familiar with which makes the experience of discovering yourself a little bit more different. I believe all of it builds my social awareness skills.
5. Highest tawakul in Allah

Allah does not burden His servant more that what he/she is capable of. Allah does not make things happen without any reason(s). I feel that this might be my ultimate test of tawakul. From studying in KL in 2013, staying in Jordan from 2014-mid 2015, to being separated from husband for 4 months (he’s in Jordan and I was in KL-SG). Now this. Allah was preparing me for something even bigger. I never know if this experience might be a preparation for maybe something much bigger. Maybe Allah SWT wants to test if I am able to overcome this privilege and challenges. Maybe Allah SWT doesn’t want me to be too comfortable and He wants me to live a life of a traveller and a stranger in this dunya. Maybe.
Surely the wisdom is abundant and I just have to keep searching for it.

There are so much more I have learnt from just this short span of time I am here in Turkey. I have so much more to learn and experience, and I am excited. If you would like to know more about my reflections, you might want to follow me on either IG or FB! Anyway, I might not be able to chat much on messengers or WA because when I am out, I will try not to flaunt my phone too much. I am either busy safeguarding my belongings or witnessing the rich culture Turkey has to offer, or both. So I really am sorry if I reply veryyy slowlyyyy.

Till then.

Wassalam.  

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26, Third Year Undergraduate

Bismillaahirrahmaanirraheem…

Assalamualaikum Wrt. Wbt.

My motivation for writing this post is because somehow students in my university, International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM), love to ask this question “What is your age?” They don’t mean any harm because they just want to know if you are older, even by a year, so they can call you ‘kak’ as a sign of respect. But of cz, I banned everyone from calling me ‘kak’ but if they still insist, then okay laaaa…..

I won’t lie. At times being the oldest in class when everyone just passed their BIG 20 can be really awkward. Not only that I am 26, I am married too, and hence my perspective about life is totally different from my classmates when in reality we are sitting in the same class and discussing the same issue. At times I do get quite frustrated when I observed some of my classmates still acting as though they were teenagers. But I will always try to remind myself when I was in my early 20s and still in Singapore Management University (SMU). Well, I acted exactly like them. Unfortunately I realised it was… sadly normal.

This is where I wish to start this post proper.

I wish to propagate that it is really okay to take your time. It is okay to make some wrong decisions. There is no such thing as your life being wasted when you re-route your path. Keep searching for your purpose.

More often than not, no matter which part of the world we come from, we will always have this typical mentality that we have to enroll into a university right after pre-university – ‘A’ levels or diploma. In my honest opinion we have been deceived by society that the best path in life is to get a degree right after pre-U when in fact after pre-U, it is the best time to calm ourselves down, do some soul searching and go after what we are truly passionate of. We should not be too hasty in our decisions.

If I were to stay on in SMU, I would already have a picture of me hanging in my house with me in graduation robe while holding a scroll from Information Systems Management course. However, this was where I went wrong. My passion at that point of time was to be a  Physical Education (PE) teacher. I did not take that extra effort to search on the procedure of being a PE teacher. Only when I was invited for an interview to be a teacher, they asked if I’ve gone through physical test. Of cz I did not. I was eligible for the other two local universities but I accepted SMU because it was just a 20 minutes bus ride from home. I JUST NEEDED A DEGREE. ANY DEGREE.

Even when I was in SMU, I went for the physical test but failed. I did my very first solat istikharah on whether I should withdraw myself from the miserable situation I was in (I cried every night cz I just could not be best friends with programming). With Allah’s will, I did. Right after, I was even more determined to pass the physical test, and guess what? I FINALLY PASSED! I was just one step away from becoming a PE teacher – to get myself into that interview room again.

I thought I was finally gonna be a PE teacher but Allah SWT has better plans for me. I was unexpectedly being introduced to my current university, IIUM. I was doing some soul-searching and because of the whole situation I was in, I just wanted to be away and know my Lord better. It was this sudden change of heart which I believe was hidayah from Allah SWT that made me dropped everything and just go for it. That was the best decision I have ever made with the will and mercy of Allah SWT.

So, at the age of 22, I became a year 1 student again. But this time round an IIUM student and joyfully doing Psychology. It was less than six months of me being in IIUM when Allah SWT had the best, life-changing plan for me. I became someone’s wife. I took one and a half years of study leave just to accompany my husband continuing his Masters in Jordan. MasyaAllah, it was the best and longest honeymoon one could ask for. So after the prolonged honeymoon I got back and Alhamdulillah I am already in my year 3. Although I am sad cz my batch mates have just graduated and my close friend no longer in IIUM, I still am appreciative.

You know, when things do not go the way we expect, it is hard to see the wisdom that lies behind the unpredictable happening at that point of time. In fact, Allah SWT might not even show the wisdom instantly. He might allow a few days, months, years to pass by before He shows the positives that come due to the unexpected happening and that’s when we should grab opportunities that Allah SWT has generously provides us with.

Nonetheless I am not saying at all that I am better than anyone who took the typical route in life. In fact, this is not even the message I am intending to send. I are not here to judge, but hoping to widen our worldview, InsyaAllah. I still have a loooong way to go in bettering myself.

Alhamdulillah. That leap of faith has granted me a lifetime companion whom has greatly contributed in my spiritual, intellectual and emotional growth. I am more critical in my thoughts and perspectives. To sum up for my education, my husband always pushes me to be at my very best. I always believed I was not a bright student but my husband proved me otherwise. He makes sure I reap every opportunity that comes by.

IMG-20170223-WA0000

One picture with my all time favorite scholar whom my husband introduced me to – Prof Malik Badri

So yes. Don’t worry if you are a step or steps behind peers your age. There’s no one right rule of life. Doesn’t mean you do not get that degree you are a lesser human being. You should not be defined by the materials of life. Whatever you do, excel in it. Seek beneficial knowledge till our last breath because being knowledgeable is obligatory on every Muslim. Be a good Muslim who are able to bring goodness to others. The actions we take in this life will determine our place in the afterlife. We only have one life, so let’s live to the fullest where meeting Allah SWT in our purest form is our ultimate goal. Ameen.

WAllahualam.

Muslims Cannot Be Poor

Bismillahirrahmaanirraheem…

Assalamualaikum Wr. Wbt.

Alhamdulillah I finally have the time to sit down and blog. I am currently at the airport in Kuala Lumpur and waiting for time to pass so I could check into my hotel (edit: by the time I complete this post, one week has passed. Lol.). Anyways, I have been wanting to post on this topic – Muslims Cannot Be Poor.

I was having a conversation with my friend, D, quite some time ago. D used to be a classmate of mine. We are quite similar in a sense that D is of the same age as me and she is married. However what differs us is that D already has a young daughter and she has the latest iPhone. Lol. K. That’s not the point.

In my campus, you will be able to see several food items being sold by students at any random corners. The interesting thing is, they will just leave a basket filled with the food and trust that people will pay accordingly because no one is looking. Well yeah, there will be some cases of stolen money. One of the items that is sold is chocolate moist cake.

The chocolate moist cake’s food display changes rapidly. From just a basket, to a customised aquarium-like display with attached money box so that no one can steal the money. I didn’t know who was the owner at first when one day I went to campus much earlier than I would. It was D!

We got close at one point of time because D was one of my group mates in one of the modules. Can you imagine how busy she is with a kid in tow and having to bake early in the morning YETTTT she is always active in doing group assignments. Ya Allah. I was blessed to have D in the group when the other four group mates were MIA most of the time. Well, in the end we had the group split for our final assignment.

Anywaysss… Whoah. I realise I digress so much. I guess this is the result for not blogging often. Hehe. Okay I digressed again.

Well, as I was intrigued by D’s ability to be so efficient, I asked her how she does it. One of the first things she said was “Muslims cannot be poor”. To be honest, D looks super average. She is not rich but I don’t think being rich is her aim either.

I began contemplating on her words.

Wow. Such simple words yet so deep.

There are so many Muslims who are living below average. It is becoming not uncommon to hear news of Muslims being homeless in Singapore. There are so many opportunities out there yet at times we are satisfied to settle with “what to do… This is my fate…”. Well, of course what happens is fate, but Allah SWT grants each of us the ability to be better. Of course to be better it comes with the most unlike words – hard work.

So, why must Muslims must not be poor?

We do not have to aim to be rich, but every Muslim must aim to be able to share their wealth with the needy and the betterment of the society. I am quite positively envious when I heard people who are able to distribute their compulsory 2.5% zakat. SubhanAllah.

Even our beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW says, “The upper hand is better than the lower hand (i.e., the spending hand is better than the receiving hand)…”

In fact, there is also a hadith whereby Rasulullah SAW says that charity does not decrease wealth. In fact, they are so many successful people who testified that charity increases their wealth instead! SubhanaAllah.

Therefore, do not aim to be poor. Poor does  not equate to Zuhd. As long we have enough sustenance for the day and some extras to give away, insyaAllah we will always be sufficient.

WAllahualam.


On another note, my team, Association of Singaporean Students in International Islamic University of Singapore (ASIIUM) Research Team (A.R.T.) will be organizing a 3-hour event called Ihya’: The Revival. This event targets any tertiary students be it students from ITE, poly, JC, university; both private or government, and local or international. As long you are a tertiary student, you are welcomed!

The event will be held on 9th September, Saturday, from 9:30am-1:00pm at al-Qudwah Academy.

I highly encourage students to go for this event as the speaker, Ustaz Nuzulul Qadar Bin Abdullah, will be sharing on the topic “Upholding Your Identity: Ilm-luminating Sciences 2.0”. We are always being bombarded with secular ideologies in school which may or may not go against Islamic principles. So what are the areas that need attention and which do not? How do we as Muslims are able to strive in our own fields although they are not Islam related in nature?

Do join us as we explore a whole different possibilities in looking at our own world! Please share with your fellow friends this news!

To register: https://goo.gl/QZRcvo

PS: although we give way to tertiary students to register for this session, however if you are not a tertiary student but interested to join us in this mind-intriguing session, you may do so!

Your Spouse is Your Mirror

Bismillahirrahmaanirraheem…

Assalamu’alaikum Wr. Wbt.

Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The believers who show the most perfect Faith are those who have the best behaviour, and the best of you are those who are the best to their wives”. [At-Tirmidhi]

It is not uncommon now to hear about couples divorcing when in fact their marriage has been less than five years. A recent survey made by Berita Harian, the main reason for divorce is unfaithfulness of spouse. If you can understand Malay language, you may read the full article here.

For that reason, I have decided to compile all marriage tips that I’ve posted sometimes back on FB. Although I may not be the best person to advice as my marriage has not even reached four years, I sincerely hope that these tips will come in handy for any married couples, insyaAllah. Most importantly, it serves as a reminder for me too.

I name this post as ‘Your Spouse is Your Mirror’ because I hold on dear to the hadith above. If you treat your wife good, then InsyaAllah she will reciprocate with good treatment and vice versa. So if you feel your marriage is not bringing peace into your home, check on yourself first and work things out. However, I am not stereotyping to all marriages because in this world they are some exceptions. I know of people who are super good to their spouse yet their spouse reciprocates with bad treatment.

The list is quite comprehensive but I hope these tips will be beneficial, insyaAllah. There’s no order because I copy paste it according to the time line I’ve posted on FB.

Happy Marriage #01

Never share your marital problems with anyone. Not your best friend or even your parents, what more on social media. They will only hear a one-sided story and for sure, because you’re close to them, they will support you without knowing the true story.

Only share the story with someone you trust, who can give good advice, if your intention is to improve on the relationship. Otherwise, please solve marital challenges together, as wise adults, in a discreet manner.

Happy Marriage #02


Marry for Allah SWT. If you’re involved in a relationship before marriage with your spouse, make sincere taubah together!
Change your intention for marriage, and InsyaAllah your marriage will be filled with barakah. Make Allah as the center of your life and marriage, and you’ll be able to taste genuine and true happiness. The closer you and your spouse are to Allah, the closer you’ll be with your spouse! In the end, don’t you want to reunite with your spouse in Jannah?

Happy Marriage #03

Unless you’re working night shift, never never never let your spouse sleeps alone. Yes, you may come back from work feeling exhausted and all you want to do is to have your own me-time. However, one should understand that me-time has now turn to we-time once one accepted one’s spouse into one’s life.

No, it’s not wrong to have a me-time once in a while. It’s only wrong when you demand your me-time every single day. You and your spouse may be working from day to evening and the only time you have a proper opportunity to spend time with each other is during bedtime.

Let go of all urges to do anything else. Do not bring any gadget, get your spouse and yourself on the bed and enjoy some we-time. Intimacy doesn’t have to mean sex. Having a heart-to-heart talk is also one of the ways to get intimate with each other.

Oh. First thing when you wake up in the morning, do not search for your phone. Instead wake your spouse up if you’ve to, greet him/her and kiss him/her on the forehead. You start and end the day with your spouse.

Happy Marriage #04

Always be the best version of yourself when you’re with your spouse. Often times people became too complacent in relationship because they see their spouse everyday and hence they don’t find the need to impress their other half. In fact, unknowingly most of the time we treat others who we rarely meet way better than we do to our spouse.

For something to last, we have to put in great effort. You wouldn’t say “I love my bag so much” but instead you’ll just throw it at a corner without handling it with care. Same goes to our spouse. Extra tender loving care have to be given to our spouse cz firstly, unlike the bag, they have feelings and secondly, we choose to live with them everyday hence they get affected so easily with our actions towards them.

Happy Marriage #05

Many couples have huge problem when it comes to communicating with each other. One of the reasons is because of the personality of the person itself – prefer to keep quiet and bottle everything up inside and treat as if nothing happens.

For a marriage to remain healthy and happy, there must be a form of communication between the spouse. Texting or writing letters may be a way of solving problems, however, nothing beats solving problems at hand, face to face.

When you communicate face to face, your spouse knows exactly your tone, your facial expression and your body language. This cannot be achieved from texting or writing letter. Honestly, it will take time to get used to talking, especially if you’re the type who rather bottle up your feelings.

Find the right time to talk. Always remain calm and always bear in mind that your objective is to find a solution to the problem together. If it’s a mistake that you’ve made, admit it with an open heart and try to improve. If it’s your spouse’s mistake, advise your spouse nicely. Do not have the intention of hurting your spouse just because your spouse has hurt you. At the end of it, say sorry even if you’ve not done any wrong because in the process of giving advise you may hurt you spouse unintentionally.

When you improve yourself, you’ll improve your marriage.

Happy Marriage #06

Never talk bad about your in-laws. Remember that your in-laws are your spouse’s family. What will you feel if your spouse talks bad about your own mum, dad or family as a whole?

Even if you’ve to let our your unhappiness towards your in-laws to your spouse, put it in a way that it won’t create any tension between your spouse and his/her family, or between you yourself and your spouse. Be gracious – pick the right words and tone.

Happy Marriage #07

Unleash your inner child when you’re with your spouse. Do not be ashamed to act silly/cute in front of your spouse because your spouse will be entertained (given you do it at the right time)! It would be easier to be playful if you marry at a young age.

PS: Never act cute in front of anyone else other than your spouse because, you know, others won’t appreciate that sight so much. They might just vomit on the spot.

Happy Marriage #08

Do not contact the opposite gender without any legit reason, what more if that person(s) used to be the most important person at one point of time in your life.

This may sound insecure, but once you got married to your spouse, you shouldn’t even leave a comment at that person’s FB postings. That’s basic respect for your spouse. If you’re genuinely okay with your spouse doing the same to you, then it’s up to the both of you.

Jealousy can really hurt so badly. Contacting the opposite gender is like an indirect way of telling your spouse that he/she can’t fulfil that part of attention that you need (even if you don’t mean it). So instead of seeking for love/entertainment from someone else, give your spouse a chance to show you that he/she is worth it.

After all, one of the most important essences of marriage is loyalty.

Oh, if you need to deal with the opposite gender, make the message short and sharp. Do not make room for the receiver to think that he/she has a chance with you. Because, you know, somehow some people find a married person more attractive than a single person.

Happy Marriage #09

A lot of people can solve the world’s problem and anything in it, but back at home, their own family problems are neglected. Many can listen attentively to outsiders’ rants but when their spouse rants, they turn berserk.

Take a step back and focus on your marriage for once. Listen carefully to your spouse when he/she is laying down the problems that are happening in the marriage. Just like how you solve outsiders’ problems calmly and as wise as possible, you should do even much more when dealing with your spouse.

Be a genuinely happy person inside and outside your house!

Happy Marriage #10

As far as possible, never end your day with feelings of unhappiness and anger towards your spouse even how huge your argument might be in the day.

Most of the time, argument in a marriage happens not because one is wrong while the other is right. It is inevitable misunderstanding that happens because both party love each other so much, they feel a need to voice out.

Trust me, in an argument, both party will feel hurt. Since no one is in the wrong per se, say sorry for whatever that has happened and promise that the situation will improve. Saying sorry doesn’t mean you lose in the argument, you apologise for hurting your spouse knowingly or unknowingly. And yes, if your spouse apologised, you apologise too for hurting him/her.

Discuss how to make things better after that and your marriage will get stronger. Arguments are not meant for hating but it’s meant to make you understand each other better.

Happy Marriage #11

Never leave a day without saying “I love you” or “I miss you” genuinely to your spouse.

A trick if your spouse is embarassed to reply you: 
If your spouse just smiles sheepishly without replying, ask him/her
“you don’t love me too..? *insert act cute sad face*”.
Your spouse will surely feel obligated to reply although he/she may be super shy to say those words because he/she loves you that much too!

If you want to take all this act cute thingy to a whole new cringy level, after your spouse says “I love you too”, you reply “I love you too, three, for-ever (four ever)!” Hehe… Omg. I’m cringing just by typing this out. Haha.

And yes, please do it when no one else is around you and your spouse.
Happy Marriage #12

Always consult with your spouse in any matter – whether minute or life-changing decision. Listen, understand and provide/accept sincere advice when needed/given. At times, your spouse knows you better than you know yourself.

Make your spouse feel important. After all, whatever decision you’re going to make, it might affect your spouse in one way or another. Your spouse is your life companion.

Happy Marriage #13

Always “renew” your marriage by reading books meant for newly married couples. These kind of books will allow you to gauge how far you’ve “performed” in your marriage. It will help you to remain on track cz it serves as a constant reminder as to why you first marry the person you’re with now. Plus, even though if you first marry for the wrong reason, these books will enable you set your intention right again, InsyaAllah.

Happy Marriage #14

Do not ask unnecessary questions that will only hurt you and can shake your relationship with your spouse. Especially questions pertaining the past, the opposite gender, etc.

I’ve seen people getting mad at their partner when they themselves asked question like “do you think xxx is pretty?”. At times even when your partner says no, you’ll keep provoking until your partner says “okay la. She looks a bit pretty” and you spoil your own day.

I know at times we just want to test our own spouse cz we want to feel worthy. But hey, the moment your spouse chose you to be their lifetime companion, it already shows you’re the most worthy in their eyes, mind and heart, right? Edit😉

That’s why we need to keep praising, saying good stuff to our spouse so that he/she knows we are always noticing their good side!

WAllahualam.


On a side note, if you have not already done so, I’d like to welcome you to subscribe to my Friday Letters where I will be emailing you my own personal reflection which I feel most relevant and insyaAllah beneficial to be shared that week! I will be emailing my very first letter tomorrow (INSYAALLAH!) after facing lots of problem with the software! To subscribe, don’t be shy and please click here. 🙂


Alone but not lonely

Bismillahirrahmaanirraheem…

Assalamualaikum Wr. Wbt.

The past week I have been quite a loner because firstly, my very good friend has just graduated and secondly, it is the short semester and the campus is kind of a ghost town. So for two months or so, I will be rather alone because I end all classes before lunch hour and I don’t really have anyone to hang out with. Okay, at least for four days I will be alone and I’ll be back in Singapore for three days. #weekendhousewife

Alhamdulillah I am quite satisfied with the way things are. I may be all by myself, but I am never bored. However, there are times where I found myself doing unproductive things like watching unbeneficial videos on YouTube. I am still trying to cut down on that.

You see, when you are all alone, you will have that strong tendency to do things that are not beneficial because no one is looking at you. I mean, it is normal to be that way because we are humans and we forget. However, it is worrying when we get too caught up with matters that are not beneficial till we are unable to realise the wrong in it. I understand it is difficult. It is not easy to break the habit that we have formed for so long. Break it slowly. One at a time. Like our mothers always say “little little long long become hill” HAHA. It sounds so bad in English. Sikit sikit lama-lama jadi bukit. We also have to keep reminding ourselves that no human is seeing us, but Allah SWT does. He takes account of everything that we do publicly and privately. We will also be asked what we do with the time that has granted to us in this dunya. All of us want to have a good response when answering Him, don’t we?

Somewhere I’ve never been before and I was shocked that this was my destination

Anyways.. The past week I filled my time by going out of campus alone. Of cz I did not just wander around without any purpose. My husband would be maddd. Hehe. I have made a point that I will have to accomplish something everyday. Especially with the upcoming clothing line that I will introduce soon (insyaAllah!), I have been quite busy getting stuff from places that I have not been to. Alhamdulillah for Grab and its constant promo codes. Haha. Anyway, I would not lie that taking a Grabcar in Malaysia is not scary. At times I do get scared especially when I am going to places I have not been to. It’s scary when drivers had to drive at kampong areas because that’s when my mind gets wild. However, I will always make it a point to recite this simple du’a every time I go out from my room:

 بِسْمِ اللَّهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ عَلَى اللَّهِ لاَ حَوْلَ وَلاَ قُوَّةَ إِلاَّ بِاللَّهِ

Bismillahi tawakaltu ‘alallahi, laa hawla wa laa quwata illa billah

In the name of Allah, I trust in Allah; there is no might and no power but in Allah

The hadith to the the du’a:

Narrated Anas ibn Malik:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: When a man goes out of his house and says: “In the name of Allah, I trust in Allah; there is no might and no power but in Allah,” the following will be said to him at that time: “You are guided, defended and protected.” The devils will go far from him and another devil will say: How can you deal with a man who has been guided, defended and protected?

(Sunan Abi Dawud)

SubhanAllah. Such a simple yet powerful du’a that almost every Muslim knows yet most of time we do not recite it with conviction. I used to recite it as a habit but I began reciting it with conviction ever since I have to travel alone. However, why do we wait till we are alone then we start reciting it meaningfully? Let’s start now, and have trust in Allah that there is not power greater than Him. So yes, this du’a has been my shield. I will feel calm and safe when I reminded myself that I have recited this du’a when I leave my room.

Nonetheless, I was pleasantly surprised by this place! Alhamdulillah!

Besides going out, I am also trying to excite my intellect again by reading books (all thanks to my husband who makes sure that I reaaad). I do not have the habit or interest in reading but I know that there is no other way for me to gain knowledge besides going for talks/lectures and reading. I know that the only way for me to get resources is by reading. When we want to write our own article, we have to cite from other articles. Hence, if I want my articles to be beneficial, I will have to provide evidences that of course requires reading. So there is no way that I could escape reading, hence I shall tryyy to embrace reading. I constantly reminded myself that I need to read in the name of my Lord. I believe my Lord (Allah) is the truth. Therefore, I need to read with the sole purpose of seeking for the truth.

So yeah! I believe that having a ‘me time’ is important. However, ‘me time’ doesn’t just mean shopping, scrolling mindlessly on FB, IG, Twitter, watching online movies. Fill your ‘me time’ with things that are beneficial. Besides reading, you can also go to the beach and do some contemplation. Contemplation is really important for every Muslim to perform and that’s why there are so many contemplative verses in the Qur’an. Besides relaxing our mind, contemplation will also enable us to reflect on our actions and improve ourselves, insyaAllah.

Some people who might always be surrounded by other people yet they feel lonely. All in all, do remember that in whatever circumstances, we are never alone and we should never feel lonely because Allah SWT is closer to us than our jugular vein.

On a separate note, I have announced on my recent blog post that I will be emailing Friday letters last week. However, when I wanted to send my letter, there was some problem and the website disabled me from sending any emails. Huhu. I hope the issue will be resolved soon so that I will be able to send it this week, insyaAllah. Even when I posted subscription form on my FB, some emails did not appear on my mailing list. I am sorry if you are accidentally not in the list. If you subscribed to my Friday letters on FB, do subscribe here again k. If there is a repetition of your email in the list, I will delete one out. I am also welcoming you who are reading this to subscribe to my Friday letters here!

Wallahualam.

Reasons Why I left + Special Announcement!

Bismillahirrahmaaniirraheem…

Assalamualaikum Wr. Wbt.

Okayyy, hold your horses! This post is not a pregnancy announcement rather it’s something that I have been wanting to do for a long time and only now I have the time to do it, Alhamdulillah. But that aside first. Anywayyy… SubhanAllah. It’s been awhile since I last posted something personal, isn’t it? This post is particularly about the reason why I left social media for a long time. I know many, if not all, do not realize that I have deleted my instagram account a couple of months ago. As for FB, I had serious contemplation to close it down, but I guess I won’t. However, I have not been active in posting statuses except for sharing others’ posts.

February was the beginning of my new semester. Alhamdulillah the semester has ended and my result was unexpectedly beyond expectation; especially with the new system that my university has just implemented. I got sick a number of times that semester and the energy to attend classes was really the level of A’udzubillahiminas-syaitanirrajeemmm… Others became sick because they did a load of things, as for me, I got sick by the thoughts of having to do tonnes of things. Huhu. Please make du’a for me in your prayers that I will be able to do better for the next few semesters I am left with.

Being busy and overwhelmed with school work was just a minor reason to why I left social media. The real reason why I left would be because of a lecturer whom I have great respect for and I had the amazing opportunity to be in her class for the past one semester. Not many students want to register for her class because she is known to be super critical and have no mercy for students who do not want to speak in class. There were a couple of times where students were asked to leave the class if the student(s) do not have any questions for her. The lecturer always says that it’s a crime/sin for a Muslim to be stupid. Which I myself feel that it is the harsh truth. Allah SWT has given us the capacity to think and contemplate. Even in the Qur’an there are many verses which Allah SWT commands us to ponder upon. However, little do we take heed.

So yes. I am trying to be a smart and critical Muslim who do not just take things at face value. There are more than just what our simple mind would want to comprehend. I do not wish to be a cognitive miser; one who avoids taking effort to think beyond than what is required. These are also the very reasons why people go to the extremes in comprehending Islam. On one extreme, there is a group of people who take things literally from the Qur’an which resulted in violence and extremism. While on the other hand, there is a group of people who are too loose in their interpretations of the religion. We need to be in the middle of the two extremes and for that to happen, we need to be knowledgeable and sincere.

Okay. I think I am still not answering the reason why I left. Sorry for digressing too much. But I feel that this is important especially in today’s context where the truth is scarily mashed up with falsehood. I am leaving a du’a that we all should recite after every prayer by Saiyyidina ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab r.a.:

اللهم ارنا الحق حقاً وارزقنا اتباعه وارنا الباطل باطلا وارزقنا اجتنابه

Allahumma arinal haqqa haqqaw warzuqnat tiba’ah, wa arinal batila batilaw warzuqnaj tinabah

Translation: O Allah! show us the truth as true, and inspire us to follow it. Show us falsehood as falsehood, and inspire us to abstain from it.

Back to the reason… So, this lecturer of mine, she was frustrated at the condition of our ummah right now. There are so many things that we need to do yet women are always seen on the phone, while the men are always with their big toys (she’s refering to those who are constantly competing who can build the tallest building). What hits me the most was when she said, “The Ummah is dying! … You’re here as khalifah fil ard (loosely translated as manager on earth), not to look pretty!” SubhanAllah. That’s when I realize, I want to remove any distraction from my path to better myself so that I can help my community in the best of my capability, insyaAllah. Again, please make du’a for me. However, I am not saying that we should not be beautiful for Allah’s sake; especially in our acts of worship. That is what ihsan is about – to attain perfection. What I am referring to is excessive time wastage in trying to look pretty till it distracts us from doing better things.

Social-Media-Addiction (1)

So here was my thought process. I wish to remove as much distractions as possible. You know, when you start to press on any social media apps, you will somehow get hooked and waste your life away scrolling without any purpose. At times, the heart becomes diseased when you tend to compare yourself with some instagram celebrity or people who seemingly did a lot of amazing things with their lives. At the same time, I do not wish to distract others with my posts that were becoming more and more irrelevant to becoming a better person. I need to be able to fulfill my ultimate purpose of being in this world. I salute those who are able to fulfill their purpose with all these social media platforms, as for me, I need to be thoroughly selective. I need to make sure the social media I am using is assisting me to do greater things to achieve the objective of providing goodness to others. I need. So here’s the special announcement I was referring to.

I am deeply inspired by Aida Azlin, founder of The Shawl Label. I have been subscribing to her Tuesday love letters, listening to her podcasts, signing up for her classes and watching her videos. Aida, if you are reading this, I’m sorry if I appear as a stalker. Haha. But that shows how much she has been inspiring me. She is the most productive person I have ever seen in my entire life. She will always be pioneering something new, something that you never thought possible. If you guys have no clue who she is, you should totally check out her work here.

I could relate so much to Aida because she’s all out in championing sisterhood and she is able to integrate and translate everything beautifully into her crafts. I would also love to create a strong community, both men and women, with my Friday letters which I will start emailing this Friday (7/7/2017), insyaAllah. Also, you might remember that I used to run Mai Black Jubah with a dear friend. Unfortunately Mai Black Jubah has ceased to exist but Alhamdulillah and insyaAllah something even better awaits! I will be officially launching this new line in one of the Friday letters, insyaAllah! So excited, SubhanAllah! For the third time, please make du’a that everything runs smoothly!

I promise the letter will not be as long as my usual blog post! Hehe. Let’s be a part of one community, shall we? Click here if you’re in!

Wallahualam.

Assist a Sick & Distressed Mother with 4 Children

Bismillaahirrahmaanirraheem…

Assalamualaikum Wrt Wbt,

This post is a special one because it will be about the campaign that I am currently running and will end on 28th June. InsyaAllah I’ll share later why I chose 28th June specifically. Anyway, you might have seen this campaign either from FB or WA, and Alhamdulillah there are many who share the word around. May Allah reward all of you who shared and those who donated generously multi-fold times! Alhamdulillah the amount as of now that we have gathered is a total of S$3002.00 ($1902.00 from gogetfund website and $1100 from my husband’s Monday night class and also personal transfer). MasyaAllah, can you imagine all that within just four days? SubhanAllah! I am extremely impressed with the strength of our ummah. So for those who have no clue what the campaign is all about, allow me to share with you and I hope that even if you are not able to help financially, you will help by spreading the message around, insyaAllah. Okay so here goes…

Currently I am campaigning for a sick and distressed mother with four children (16, 13, 12, and 4) to help her clear her debts and also to help her live by for a few months, insyaAllah. I have known this beautiful soul since 2015 and I have visited her place and went out with her and her children a number of times. So insyaAllah all donations are being put to good use. Although I have already written some background story about her on the gogetfund website, but I’ll still share it again and insyaAllah an extended version of it.

If anyone who used to read an FB post from two years ago where I mentioned I know of a husband and wife who are tattooed and have turned over a new leaf. However, because of the stigma that still remains in our community, tattooed Muslims are looked down upon and they may still face criticisms especially from the older generation. Ignorant yet popular remarks such as “If you do not remove your tattoos, everything you do is not valid. Allah will not accept your prayers and obligatory baths (mandi hadas)”, will not do anything good to the tattooed Muslim, but instead it will only bring detriments to the person. Because of this, many tattooed Muslims avoid praying at the mosque and will only pray at their own safe space. Unfortunate for this mother, she did not receive enough support when she wanted to be a better Muslimah, together with the criticisms because of her tattoos which she is not even in control of anymore, she went back to her old ways a number of times. However, she came to a realisation that Allah SWT has given her everything yet she is not grateful. That’s when she also starts to cover her aurah properly and wears the niqab too. She even wears gloves to cover the tattoos on her hands.

She lives in a rented house with no rooms together with her children. Her husband has not been coming home regularly since February because they had a big fight when she keeps prompting her husband that she needs to go to work. Her husband who does not have a stable job and at times does not even work for a few months,  refuses to allow her to work as he wants her to take care of the youngest child. As there is no income, her only alternative is to borrow money from others. She also does try to get help from different organisations and occasionally meets the MP for help. Back to her husband, even when he comes back home to meet the children, he occasionally gives her $50 which is of course insufficient for her and the children. To make things worse, her eldest child who was under probation because of juvenile offence, did not come back home for almost three weeks now. She reported her missing child to the police and now the child is wanted by the police. You may ask me why is it I include this part about her child wanted by the police, this is to show that she is in extreme distress and became ill thinking about her child.

After her husband left, she began looking for a job. She got a job at PSA as a cleaner and on the first day of work, she blacked out. She has to quit because she is unwell to work. Her health is deteriorating as she is diagnosed with diabetes, high cholesterol and also heart diseases. I would assume this is mainly because of food consumption. She could not afford to get proper food for her family and hence has to resort to low quality food like instant noodles.

Alhamdulillah a kind sister who is in a similar situation actually called me and she told me a few actions that this mother of four could take. Firstly, she can get free medical check up and Alhamdulillah she did get 6 months full subsidy of her appointments. Secondly, she can also get a letter from the doctor mentioning that she is unfit to work. InsyaAllah this Friday she has an appointment and she will try to get the letter. With this letter, she can go to Community Development Council (CDC) to request for help so that she is able to get at least a stable amount of income every month for her to support the family. She can also try to go to HDB to waive off her upcoming rents. As of now, she has to pay $294.10 before 31st May, else HDB will take actions against her. Alhamdulillah a kind soul has actually already paid for her house rent yesterday, and the kind soul also gave extra for her to pay off the next two months’ rent. Thirdly, the sister said that since she will be receiving the donations, she should change her food pattern and avoid instant noodle, white sugar and canned food. Find a healthier alternative such as brown sugar or the special kind of sugar for diabetic patient. InsyaAllah if we have the intention to safeguard the amanah in the form of body that Allah has given us, Allah will provide us ways to attain it.

Yesterday I asked if she has any debt with hospitals, and she said that she used to “run away”  from paying hospital bills for her children because she can’t afford it. So when I asked how much does it sum up to, she said she threw all the bills aways because she never thought anyone would want to help her. Alhamdulillah with all your efforts, it’s now clear that Allah will never leave His slaves at any cost. We just require patience.

The overview amount of money required can be seen at the gogetfund website. But total we’re campaigning for is a total of $3500. I’ve also open the fund to be till 28th June (third day of Eid ul-fitri) instead of closing it when we’ve reached the amount. The reason behind this is because the amount $3500 is what she needs. I hope that we could at least give her and her children a pleasant and memorable festival where they can get new clothes and also eat good food during that festive day. Unfortunately she does not have good relations with many relatives because they see her and her children as a burden.

Lastly I would like to inform all who have interest in this campaign on the actions she will be taking in order to sustain her family. Besides what has been mentioned, she will also try to get funds from MUIS and school pocket money scheme. She did apply before and she will be reapplying it again. Some kind souls have told her to apply at AMP, PPIS and 4PM. InsyaAllah she will look into it too.

I’d also like to ask if anyone can provide free consultation for her to see what are the options she has with regards to her husband. She is stuck in a sticky situation where she still loves her husband but she doesn’t know what to do with the situation.

With this, I end with a huge thank you to all who have come forward to help in terms of donation, sharing the campaign and also free helpful advice. May Allah SWT reward all of you abundantly and may He elevate all of your status in Jannah, insyaAllah.

You may click on the link to donate and get updates on this campaign:

https://gogetfunding.com/assist-a-sick-distress-mother-with-4-children/
Wassalam.

Allahualam.