Ethics of Being A Group Member

Bismillahirrahmaanirraheem…

Assalamualaikum Wrt. Wbt.

Alhammdulillah it is a new start to the year and the semester. Time flies really fast and I am now in my year 3. I am at the halfway mark and I wish that time will slow down a little bit. That would mean I will have to cherish all the time left and improve myself even further. Being a Psychology student, we have loaaaaads of group assignments. Every subject will bound to have at least one group assignment that weighs around 40% of our total marks. The idea of group assignment is really exciting if you have every group member taking pride in completing the tasks. However reality is not as sweet as we hope it would be.

I know this post won’t be able to reach out to many but I am going to post it anyway because besides ranting, I hope you who are reading this will change your attitude if you are one of those who have been doing injustice to your group.

All of these are based on my own experience dealing in various group assignments. I am not saying that I am the best group member one could ask for, but I am just trying my best to carry out the amanah that is entrusted to us by our lecturers. It is also an amanah by Allah SWT to perform every task beautifully and most of the time, we forgot that we will be held accountable for our actions. K, before I start becoming an Ustazah, let’s begin with the ethics of being a group member.

1. START EARLY

The beginning of the new semester, lecturers will never fail to repeat their mantra of “start your assignments early, start your assignments early, start your assignments early”. Even how much they may sound like a broken radio, it amuses me at how oblivious students are to the instruction. When someone in the group initiates to start the discussion, everyone will be like “yeah! okay!” and the rest is history….until one or two week/s before the deadline where people start to panic. Worst, when the person who initiated kept reminding the group will either not receive any response, or if he/she is lucky, he/she will receive unsatisfactory excuses such as “sorry, I’m busy with another assignment” or “sorry, I am busy with my club”.

It is important to start early because it will enable the group to consult the lecturer in charged of the assignment. Lecturer’s input is reallyyyyyyyyy extremelyyyyyyyy important. Having a first draft is important because most of the time, you won’t be able to truly understand what the lecturer expects. First drafts are usually rejected anyway and imagine if you do not consult your lecturer at all. Fuhhh… All the best for your assignment marks, man.

2. CONSULT LECTURER AS A GROUP

When you have agreed with your group members to consult the lecturer, needless to say, everyone.must.be.there. It is highlyyyyyy unethical to suddenly whatsapp in the group 15 minutes before the appointment that you are unable to attend the meeting due to invalid reason or come 20 minutes late, or worst, MIA (missing in action). Allow me to rant a little bit yeah? I had the worst experience ever whereby my group agreed to consult our lecturer and so I emailed him/her to set an appointment. On the actual day, a group member said that he/she can’t make it 15 minutes before the meeting. Two other members went MIA. Then there’s me and the lecturer. Uhhuhh… After the first failed attempt consultation, we agreed to set up another meeting. You guessed it right. The same thing happened but it was better because one member eventually appeared 20 minutes through the meeting (between me and the lecturer). Finally the third meeting then everyone was present.It was emotionally and mentally torturing for me. Yes, I cried.

The thing is, group members will want to cover up for each other’s back. In my case, I could still help them out the first time. But when the same thing happens, the lecturers could already figure out your working attitude and you should not blame anyone but yourself for receiving low marks.

3. BE CONSISTENT EVEN SMALL ACTIONS

Yes yes yes. For this to happen, look back at point number one- you need to start early. Delegation of tasks needs to be specified clearly at the very beginning and you should start doing research. Usually lecturers will give around two months to prepare assignments and looking up for resources will usually take a long time.This is where you need to be consistent with your readings. I know. It’s boringgggg but hey! We are already in university and if you are seeking pleasure only, I don’t think you are at the right place. University is a place where you develop and mature, and eventually becoming a person who is able to think critically. We are in to serve God and humanity. This is a sacrifice that we have to take.

4. KEEP UPDATING THE GROUP

Usually in a group there will be at least one person who volunteers to be the compiler cum editor. The task of the compiler is not easy. He/She has to make sure the formatting is according to APA style, the points are coherent, the words used are accurate, citation and referencing are all in place, ask the person who did the part to edit if there’s a need, etc. Another experience that I had, I asked a group member to redo his/her part because it did not achieve the required expectation of our topic. The second time he/she handed me his/her part, there was not any much difference. The person said that he/she did not understand what to do. So I listed out one by one what needed to  be done. He/she passed back to me again and there were major changes but it still did not achieve our topic’s objective and worse, plagiarism. The person then gave up and refused to do anything about it and guess who had to do it? Uhhuhhh… So remember that whenever you do not do your part, there is someone else who has to do it.
Making sure that the assignment flows is really important because the lecturer will know if the assignment is being done as a group or it is done individually but compiled haphazardly. It just requires one person to submit to the compiler late and the group assignment will be out of flow. Yes, you may do a great write up and that is the very reason why you are late at submitting to the compiler. However, it will not do any justice to yourself and the group if you send in one or two hours before the submission cz it is impossible to make any editing at such short period of time if your writing style is totally different from the compiler’s. It will then be apparent as though there are two different people doing the assignment.

So yes, it is not the right time to give surprises and please keep updating the group of your progress. Even if you are the compiler, update the group of the final product one day before handing in so that group members will be able to give feedback if let’s say there is something wrong with the format, lecturer’s name, etc; those minute details that we may overlook.

5. DO YOUR OWN ASSIGNMENT

Neverrr ask anyone to do your assignment. It is not ethical and come on la, it’s your grades. With money, everything goes round. I cannot comprehend at how people have the heart to actually submit an assignment which is not theirs. How can someone look at their grades with pride knowing that it is not him/her who did the job? Even if you do not pay a third party but the third party is your good friend, it is unethical. You may think as if you asking your friend sincerely to help you, but you forgot that it might be detrimental to your group. There’s a whole load of difference between guiding and asking your friend to do the job for you. 
6. INFORM OF ANY CHALLENGES

I really do not mind if my group members are not proficient in the English language. That’s the least of my concern. All I need is their ideas and I’ll try to make sense of things. However, I am really upset when group members are not responsive or active in doing their parts. When confronted, then they’ll start to tell what’s going on and that they’re having a hard time with their personal lives. 
Again, it’s only ethical to inform your group members. If you’re having a hard time with your life, then please have the courtesy not to make others’ lives difficult too. Private message someone in your group that you trust, and ask that person to say it on your behalf. When you’re in a group, know that they’ll be there for you and try to accommodate to your situation. 

As for those who feel like you’ve been victimized, quickly alert your lecturer. Do not suffer in silent and in the end jeopardizing your own marks. You have the rights to take charge of your own marks and I’m sure lecturer will be reasonable enough to understand the situation cz really, I think lecturers know that freeriders exist in this world. 

Okay, I guess that’s all for now. I think I’m getting a bit emotional. So before my emotions get the better of me, I should stop. Hehe. 

Let’s make everyone’s experience in the university a pleasant, memorable and enriching one. Again, we have to constantly remind ourselves that all these assignments that are given to us is an amanah. When it is an amanah, it means that we will be held accountable for it in Judgment Day. Life is a test isn’t it? So give yourself no excuses, okie? 

WAllahualam. 

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Judging/Labeling Someone You Don’t Know

Bismillaahirrahmaanirraheem…

Assalamualaikum Wr. Wbt.

This conversation was taken from another post of mine in 2014 because I feel it is relevant to this blog post, insyaAllah. This was a real conversation I had with an Ustaz who tested me for my Quranic recitation examination back in late 2013…

Ustaz: This is the first time I’ve seen a student from Human Sciences (from Singapore) who wears the niqab. Why do you wear the niqab?

Me: To avoid from doing more sins, Ustaz.

Ustaz: So in Singapore do you follow any group?

Me: Huh? What do you mean?

Ustaz: I mean, salafi or anything??

Me: Ouh… No la. I’m a Muslim.

At that point of time, it was barely 6 months since I made a proper hijrah. Honestly I knew nothing. My aim was (and still is) just trying to improve myself as a Muslim. Coming from secular education with not much proper religious knowledge, I was confused between what’s right and what’s wrong in the eyes of Allah.

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I’m not sure why but this world is really a funny and complicated one. Before hijrah, I do not know of anyone who hated me. After hijrah, Muslims start to unfriend me just because I hold on to a certain scholar’s opinion and I was completely labelled as following the scholar’s school of thought. Before hijrah, I never heard among my circle of friends mocking each other as kafir although they did lots of haraam acts. After hijrah, I see people voluntarily denouncing someone else’s religion as though his/her way of performing is the only right one. Labeling others as kafir seems to be a norm. Sad isn’t it?

You may ask then, so what kind of orientation am I incline to?

Truth to be told, I do not want to put labels on myself. I am not a product that needs labeling or categorizing. That being said, I am not degrading anyone who calls him/herself as ‘Sufi’,Salafi‘, ‘Ikhwan’, etc. It’s your personal choice but importantly you must know why you’re claiming yourself as such. Let’s avoid labeling Sufis as those who go for Mawlid, Tahlil while Salafis are those who don’t. Let us get out of this narrow minded labeling because the discussion is deeper than that.

You may ask again, so does that mean I am not a Shafiee?

Generally, I am. Due to my limited Islamic knowledge, I do follow mahzab Shafiee. However, as my husband’s interest is in hadith, from time to time, he does check out the authenticity of the mahzab’s views yet he also follows the general Shafiee school of thought. That being said, my husband never really shoves down my throat of what he thinks right. Usually he will share his views in discussion form or at times when I see him doing things differently from the general masses, I will ask him and he will lay out all of the opinions of scholars regarding that particular topic. After which, he will let me decide if I want to change my own view or just retain it. There are times where I follow, there are times where I don’t.

For instance, the moving of finger during tashsyahud. He told me there are four acceptable opinions regarding it and I choose to continue what I am comfortable with because it is part of the acceptable opinions. However, if I remember clearly, there is only one time where he instructs me to change my way. When we just got married, my husband looks at the way I pray and he notices that I kept my feet closed together. He says that Rasulullah SAW has already told us to pray as how he prays. Hence, I began to keep my feet apart while praying.

I am sorry if I sound biased, but I love the way my husband explains things out. He will make sure that he does not do injustice to traditional scholars and he will try to list one by one of the narrations of just one particular action that have differences in opinion. I guess that’s the main reason why I was attracted to his teaching (when he was just an Ustaz to me) because of his honest and clear cut methodology. Differences of opinion is a mercy from Allah but instead we are divided because of it.

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We are all seekers of knowledge and we will never really be able to learn completely all aspects of the deen. Being humble is key. There are some whose akhlaq is really MasyaAllah but lacks the knowledge. For example, a person who is really kind to everyone but performs practices that may not have any basis in Islam. While there are some whose knowledge is really MasyaAllah but lack in akhlaq. For example, a person who has great knowledge regarding a certain topic but the way the person propagates the truth deviates others away from the truth rather than embracing it. Both akhlaq and knowledge are important in Islam. There is no way we can single out one from the equation.

A reminder to myself first that we should be helping one another to Jannah. If we see someone lags behind, we should encourage. If we know someone who is not a practicing Muslim or a person who practices Islam which may not be in line with the Islamic traditions, be friends first. Old habit dies hard. What is the likelihood a person changes 20, 30, 40 or 50 years of his/her behavior by a one time advice or worse, being reprimanded at.

Forging sincere friendship should be the first step. Do not enter the friendship with the intention to correct because you will get frustrated easily when the person fails to change the behavior at one try. Just because it is easy for us to accept the truth, that does not mean that others can do it too. Enter the friendship with the intention to understand. Know the real situation and manage from there. Trust me, it is going to be a loooooong journey. Our job is not to make the person change; that is up to Allah’s will. We only need to make sure that we convey Allah’s religion in the most wise and compassionate way.

Ermm hehe. I don’t know why I’ve deviated awaaay from the main topic. However I hope that my message on this post is clear. Like my husband always says we should never see someone as “if you’re not with us, you’re with them. As though there cannot be a third option”.

Most, if not, all of us are striving for Jannah but there are times we gonna slip a little bit here and there and that is only human. However, the best of person is the one who repents and strives to be better Muslim.

May all of our deeds be accepted by Allah SWT and may He grant us the strength and patience in conveying the truth.

WAllahualam.

ps: Photos have got nothing to do with the topic. It’s just that I’ve been missing Palestine a little bit too much. Hehe.

Shall We Revive Islamic Golden Age?

Bismillahirrahmaanirraheem…

Islamic art (7)

Credits to The Golden Age of Islam Blogspot

Assalamualaikum Wrt. Wbt.

My mum wanted to enrol me into a Madrasah when I was in primary one. However, I failed the test. So for the rest of my 10 years compulsory education plus 3 years of college and 1.5 years in a local university, I can safely conclude that my thoughts were largely moulded by the secular education received. I believe any type of education is good, except that what I was lacking of spiritual guidance.I’m quite sure many are/were in the same boat as I was. For me, I’d say I received hidayah at quite a late age and I’d say where I am now is unintended. SubhanAllah.

Thanks to technology, Islamic messages are much more accessible making da’wah  activities much easier and Alhamdulillah this results to people realising the importance of Islam at a much younger age. Teenagers despite coming from secular educational background can be seen filling public Islamic talks and lectures. Alhamdulillah we are seeing progress in our Ummah.

There is a new phenomenon arising from this. There has been a trend whereby secular education students going into a totally new field in the Islamic studies when they have the opportunity to do so and leaving their “secular” life totally. So at the age of 17-20, after ‘O’, ‘N’, ‘A’ Levels or Diploma, they join Islamic centres and start learning Islam and Arabic from scratch. I am not at all saying this is a bad thing. In fact, I believe it is born out of pure intention to compensate for the years loss not knowing Allah SWT. However, insyaAllah I have a suggestion that we can look into together.

I have been passionate about Islamizing our knowledge for the past few years. My passion fires even more after I have gone through a module in my university called “Introduction to History and Civilization”. We learnt about the Golden Age of Islam and also the amazing Muslim scholars whose intellectual capacity were really totally out of this world. When I say Muslim scholars, I do not mean Ulama’ who specialised in Qur’an and Sunnah only. Who I meant were those scholars who studied religion alongside with philosophy, medicine, astronomy, geometry, mathematics, geography, psychology, sociology, history, physics, chemistry, art and architecture, agriculture, etc. SubhanAllah. Let’s take for instance the eminent scholar al-Razi (Rhazes) from Rey (in Iran) who lives in the Islamic Golden Age era. His main interests were medicine, chemistry and philosophy. During his lifetime, he produced lots of works on his interests, and he also wrote an immense medical reference in Europe for 600 years such as in the areas of gynaecology, obstetrics and surgery. MasyaAllah.

In the first paragraph, I’ve said that any type of education is good and yes, that includes our 10-13 years of secular education. That should serve as a basis for something greater instead of turning our back against it. Our world is in need of the truth. If every person who is passionate about Islam becomes a religious teacher, then someone who is in the human sciences field will never find the ultimate truth and still stick to theories and assumptions. Becoming a religious teacher is indeed a commendable role and I am not at all belittling them. Of cz I won’t! My husband is one. Hehe. They are in fact the backbone of our Ummah.

Although it might be impossible to replicate even 1/10 of what our scholars had achieved during the Islamic Golden Age, that does not mean that we should not try. What I am trying to advocate here is that, there is wisdom why Allah SWT placed us where we are now. I have faith Allah SWT did not put me in a Madrasah 19 years ago because He wants me to do something else. Islamizing our current knowledge is the first step to reaching our Golden Age again. Allah SWT says in the Quran:

“Read in the name of your Lord Who created.” (al-‘Alaq:1)

We believe our Lord is the truth. Hence when we read in the name of our Lord, we are reading to seek out the truth. How are we able to search for the truth if we are not exposed to the Qur’an and Sunnah, if we are blinded by only the Western perspectives of a certain issue? At the same time, we believe Islam is a way of life, and  resources and information Allah SWT has given us are sufficient for us to lead our life. Therefore, I feel that in order for us to progress further as an Ummah, we should explore the different fields that we are in now, be critical with what we are being thrown at, and sift out all the lies and falsehood that we have been exposed since we were young.

If you have not known yet, I love my university. I am obsessed with the environment, the curriculum, the lecturers, the facilities (ok, can be improved a bit more. hee.), everything I’d say. Alhamdulillah currently I am pursuing my degree in psychology at International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM). IIUM, just like any other universities, offers various courses. However, what makes IIUM different is that IIUM provides both Western theories and Islamic perspectives on every course that IIUM offers which means IIUM students receive a more holistic view of a certain issue. I am not sure of other places which offer similar programmes as IIUM. Even if there is, maybe it might be far from Singapore.

I know it looks like I’m promoting my school, BUT YES, I am shamelessly promoting IIUM. Hehe. But I am not paid for it laa… Hmm.. I should demand for royalty for every person enrolled through me eh. Hee..  So here I am going to advertise to you Association of Singaporean IIUM (ASIIUM) very first Open Day which will be held next week, insyaAllah! There will be seminar and Q&A session, sharing session with alumni and current students, booths on  the various courses that IIUM offers, etc. So if this is your first time hearing about IIUM or you are not really sure if IIUM is the place you want to be, be sure to join ASIIUM’s Open Day, okie?

Here are the details:

Date: 18 June 2016
Venue: MUIS Academy Training Room
Time: 2pm – 6pm

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Click here to register and get your ticket! 😀 Bring all your friends along so that all of you have one more option open in making your decision to pursue your studies. This also applies to those who wish to pursue Masters and PhD. If you are still 50-50 whether to attend or not and you are still able to read another lengthy blog post, hehe, then do read Muslim Coming From Secular Education? Join IIUM!.

I hope no one takes me wrongly. I am not belittling anyone here. I am not judging you if you choose to leave your past and start anew with Islamic studies. I am also not referring to people with secular education background only although they are my target reader for this post. If you are from from a Madrasah and you are also looking out at IIUM as one of your options, then you are warmly welcome too! It’s time we integrate and share ideas despite coming from different backgrounds, yeahhhhh… Let’s progress together for the betterment of our Ummah, insyaAllah!

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Taken from The Golden Age of Islam Blogspot

WAllahualam.

Long Distance Relationship

Bismillaahirrahmaanirraheem…

Assalamualaikum Wr. Wbt.

Wow MasyaAllah… It’s been too long since I last posted on my blog. This will be my first (and insyaAllah not the last) post for the year. I’ve got quite a number of draft posts which I didn’t manage to complete. So let’s see if this gets published.. Hehe. And yeah… I’ve got the whole time to blog but I just decided to blog in the midst of my exam period. It always happens… Getting inspired at the wrong time. Huhu. Please make do’a for me! 😀

Anyway, before I start delving into the topic, I wish to acknowledge that from now on, I will be changing my writing style. InsyaAllah I will try to write more informally and leisurely because people have been coming up to me saying that they used the points in my blog for their official academic work. Oh noooo…. So insyaAllah with this new writing style, people won’t take my words like I am an academician cz really, I am not even near there. InsyaAllah maybe 10 years down the road you’ll be seeing my name on academic books and you can cite my name as much as you want. As of now, I am a nobody and you ain’t cite from a nobody, yo. Hehe… Okay so let’s go!

I am a undergraduate student, so it is my nature to always be meeting new people and when they see a ring on my finger they will hesitantly ask “erm… are you married?”. Of cz naturally when they hear me saying yes, I will receive this long array of questions. Huhu. One of their favourite questions “is your husband here (in the university) too?”. When I told them he is in Jordan, they say “Wah.. LDR…”. I asked “What is LDR?”. It is Long Distance Relationship. It amuses me at how much Malaysians love acronyms. Hehe..

So yeah… I have never thought of myself being in a LDR until they mentioned it to me. The first time my husband and I bided farewell was on 20 October 2015 and Alhamdulillah I managed to be reunited with him again in Jordan for 3 weeks during the semester break in Jan-Feb. So it’s been 7 months since the first goodbye and almost 4 months since the last goodbye. The next time I will be meeting my husband insyaAllah around in a week plus. YAYYY, ALHAMDULILLAH! WE DID IT!

I wouldn’t lie. Being in a LDR is not easy. Especially the first few weeks, it.was.tough. I remembered wanting to just give it all up and be with my husband right that minute. However, my husband will keep reminding me that we are doing this for no one but Allah SWT. We are here to pursue knowledge so that we are able to contribute back to the community with our own specialization. Especially for me, I do not want to be a pseudo academician who can just go on writing but has no substance. Huhu. And ultimately, seeking knowledge in the name of Allah, is every Muslim’s obligation.

At times I do feel guilty knowing that my husband’s well being is not looked after for. Especially when my husband had to go through rough time with his thesis and his meal time became irregular. It just feels really bad knowing that I am not fulfilling my responsibilities as a wife. However we tried to still make it work. Alhamdulillah with the help of our lovely Malaysian neighbours, they took over my role of providing food for my husband during the hectic period. Alhamdulillah for our Singaporean neighbours, they provided comfort and company for him. It’s a no wonder why Islam places such importance of being good to your neighbours. Although it is never the same, but I am ever thankful for what Allah SWT has granted us with and may Allah SWT reward abundantly to those who have made my husband’s life a lot easier.

Being in a LDR has taught me not to be overly dependent on my husband  Before we took this decision, I was always with my husband 24 hours. So when I woke up one morning, realising that my life won’t be the same any more and knowing that I was all on my own two feet, I felt lost. Slowly I began learning to put my 100% trust in Allah SWT. I asked Allah SWT to protect my husband like He always do. I asked Allah to grant us strength and ease our affairs. Time and again, He never fails on us and insyaAllah never will.

If you are currently in a LDR, hang in there and always remember the initial reason why you made the decision. You know you will be strong with Allah alone and you are practising the highest of tawakul for leaving your spouse under the care of Allah SWT. That’s why you were strong in making that heavy decision to be apart from your spouse cz it is always about Allah SWT.

So if you are married and you want to pursue your knowledge but you have to be apart from your spouse, you need to have a good reason for not bringing your spouse along. Both parties need to agree on the decision. As for my husband and I, we had no choice because I met him when I was in my first semester and I already took a long study leave after that. Any more longer, the university will ask me to leave forever and never come back. Huhu. It was my husband’s principle too that I should never stop my education no matter what happens. Most importantly before making any life-changing decision, you must pray istikharah and let Allah SWT decide for you.

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WAllahualam.

Oh yeay Alhamdulillah! I managed to get this published! Woots woots! Hehe…

I Love You For The Sake Of Allah SWT

Bismillaahirrahmaanirrahiim…

Assalamualaikum Wr. Wbt.

MasyaAllah. Today marks the second year of our marriage. Time flies so fast when you’re with the person you love. I can still vividly remember how I met my husband (click here to read). I guess one of the reasons why it still remains fresh in my memory is because I’ve been sharing my story with quite a number of people who asked.

I never really knew what does it take to love someone for the sake of Allah. Before marrying my husband, I thought loving him for the sake of Allah is going to be simple; I just have to obey Allah’s commandments and I will naturally obey my husband. When I finally got married, I realised it wasn’t that simple to act it out.

For me, there is no such thing as honeymoon period. Honeymoon period to me is a myth. From the moment we are being declared as husband and wife, that’s when we start to shoulder our own respective responsibility that Allah SWT has set for us. Suddenly marriage sounds scary, huh? Nope, not really…

It is human nature that we are always wanting and demanding for our rights. Especially in marriage! However we will never find happiness and contentment in our marriage if half the time we are arguing about our rights.

Loving for the sake of Allah SWT would mean you fulfilling your responsibility towards Allah SWT. And knowing that you won’t be able to fulfil your responsibility completely if you do not be responsible over who Allah has put your responsibility under.

So how do we know what are our responsibilities? It’s right there, in the Quran and Sunnah. I won’t elaborate the details because I don’t wish to spark any debate and that’s not the objective of this post. All I wish to highlight is that, once we’ve performed our responsibility, then we are in the position to ask for our rights. Most of the time, you don’t even have to ask for it, it will come to you naturally because Allah SWT is pleased with you.

As of now, I am away from my husband for exactly two months now. Being in a long distance relationship is not easy. I remembered the first few days and weeks after my husband left, I felt empty. Since I’m schooling in Malaysia, going back to Singapore has been quite a challenge cz knowing that my husband isn’t there for me to pinch his chubby face.

My husband always reminds me that we are doing this for Allah SWT. He’s seeking knowledge and I am seeking knowledge for no one but Allah SWT. This is an ‘ibadah and this is our responsibility as ‘abid (slave) and khalifah (leader) of Allah SWT.

Whenever I feel like breaking down because I’m missing my husband so badly, I will remind myself again, this is Allah SWT’s way of giving me a chance to experience the real meaning of loving my husband for His sake. Maybe Allah SWT put us in this situation because we are becoming too dependent on each other. Now that I miss my husband, I learn to depend on Allah SWT again. Strengthening my relationship with Allah SWT directly strengthens my relationship with my husband, SubhanAllah.

Being apart from my husband also allows me to place my highest of tawakul on Allah SWT. I learn to leave my husband under the care of Allah SWT. Knowing that whatever happens, it’s the best that Allah SWT has planned for us.

So the next time when someone asks me, “how to love someone for the sake of Allah SWT?” I’d say ‘responsibility’ and ‘tawakul’. Once you are able to accept that, then you’ll be able to experience honeymoon period all day, every day and eternally, InsyaAllah.
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WAllahualam.

Fathers.

Bismillaahirrahmaanirraheem…

Assalamualaikum Wrt. Wbt.

Last week I blogged on mothers (click here to read). This time round, I’m going to blog about my fathers, InsyaAllah. Mothers are important, but we won’t be here in this dunya without the presence of fathers. Fathers play a vital role and at times, we underappreciate our fathers. Abah (my biological father) and Bapak (father-in-law) are two of the most awesomest men in my life.

Abah is my first hero. He is funny, firm, and such a caring father to his children. Since I am the last child, I am the baby of the family (not anymore ever since my nephew was born.. huhu), I choose to think that Abah loves me the most amongst my siblings because I am the most well behaved. Hehe. However so, Abah is fair toward all his children .

I remembered when I was in secondary school, when Abah called me and my friend saw me talking on the phone, I will always end the conversation with “I love you too” and my friends thought that I was talking to my non-existent boyfriend. Abah is never embarrassed to express his love toward his children. Yeap, even to my brothers. Even up till now, we are married and my sister has a child, he will still say “I love you” to us and Mama of course. MasyaAllah.

Abah may have make a number of wrong decisions in his life, but that’s because we are humans and we err. Even when things were hard in the past and we hated Abah’s decisions, Mama will always remind us “Last time when you were younger, Abah will always be the one to tie all of your shoelaces!”. We began to appreciate Abah again. Such small contribution yet huge impact. MasyaAllah.

Just like Mama, Abah played a huge role in my religious life too. I will always have Abah’s back whenever I talked to him about my every day struggles. Abah doesn’t like to on songs while we were on the road despite his love for music. He will either play religious CDs or he will be reciting the 99 names of Allah. He will always encourage me to memorise the 99 names and I have always enjoyed listening to my dad reciting it.

Up till now, I’ve always remembered Abah’s wise words when I told him of my intention to marry my husband and his wise words have been my advise to almost all of those ladies who approached me with the intention to marry. He says so beautifully “Abah won’t decide for you, Mama won’t decide for you, and you don’t decide for yourself. Let Allah decide for you”. MasyaAllah. I truly believe it’s because I listened to my dad, I did istikharah and I put my utmost faith in Allah, Alhamdulillah my husband is specially “handpicked” by Allah for me.

Moving on to Bapak. My husband was so close to being a valedictorian during his convocation but because he couldn’t be contacted, the committee gave the responsibility to someone else. He felt really devastated for not having the chance to be the one delivering the speech. He said if he had the chance, he wanted to share about Bapak’s struggle. So my husband shared with me instead and indeed Bapak is such an incredible man.

Bapak did not (and still does not) have the word “tired” in his dictionary while struggling during his younger days being a dad and the sole breadwinner to five little children. Bapak used to juggle three jobs. As bapak did not have any paper qualification, he had to work as a cleaner at different places. Bapak will come back home from work to have his meal, dozed off on the sofa for an hour or so, then made his way for the next job. MasyaAllah. Such incredible strength to feed the family and to make sure his children have proper education.

Bapak is a perfect living example of a husband who struggled really hard for the family while his wife becomes a stay at home mother and nurtures his children. Sound really backward and unattractive, but trust me, you will see the wisdom behind it. Take a look at just one of his children. Just one. Currently Bapak does not have to work anymore because his children can support his expenses, however because he is so used to working his entire life, he still keeps one of his jobs. Bapak also doesn’t like to be dependent on others. He just hates to burden anyone.

Bapak is such a generous man. Whenever Bapak meets my grandmother (Abah’s dad) or even her siblings, Bapak will never fail to give them some money. Bapak does not like to show off his generosity. Despite me being a daughter-in-law who should serve Bapak, Bapak never puts any expectation on me but instead he treats me as a student. He will always always always come to me when no one is around, pass me some extra allowance and then he will walk away quickly. MasyaAllah. He may not earn a lot, but he really gives a lot. And I really mean it. It’s a lot.

There’s just something about fathers that are amazing. They are protective, supportive and fearless. I remembered when I decided to wear the niqab and I told my family, Abah was the first one to give his full support. He did not allow anyone to talk negatively about my decision to don the niqab. He even went to the extent of reprimanding others when they try to talk me out about removing my niqab. Just like Abah, Bapak is equally protective and supportive of me with my niqab. MasyaAllah… My journey as a niqabi would be much tougher if it’s not for them. Alhamdulillah.

Ouh yeah… MasyaAllah. Both of Abah and Bapak loveeeeeee their grandchild(ren). Abah will go wherever my nephew is while Bapak always buys toys for his grandchildren. SubhanAllah, the way they entertain their grandchild(ren) is really adorable. At times I will look at them instead of my cute niece and nephews. Hehe. I really really hope one day Allah SWT will grant me the chance to witness Abah and Bapak playing with my own kids, insyaAllah.

Before I end, I want to give a shout out to Abah because I’m sure Abah will be reading this (sadly Bapak is not into social media). Abah! Thank you so much for driving me around to any destination ever since school days up till me being someone’s wife. You do not mind fetching and sending me in the wee hours from bus terminal even though you are tired from a whole day of appointments. I truly appreciate it and I love you so much! And I know you still love me the most up till now. Heheheeee…..

Oh my… Is it obvious that I’m a daddy’s girl? Heh. It’s difficult to see who Mama loves most because you know, it hurts if Mama were to give more attention on one of us. So a mother must act neutral although I know Mama also loves me the most. Hahahaha. Oh, hi there nephew.

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Tell me. Who wouldn’t love this bambam?

FATHERS

FATHERSSS

Allahu’alam.

Mothers.

Bismillaahirrahmaanirraheem…

Assalamualaikum Wrt. Wbt.

On 27th November, my mom, turned a year older. Whereas on 28th November, it was my parents-in-law’s anniversary. I have always wanted to blog on this topic but I guess this is a perfect time for me to write about both Mama (my biological mother) and Mak (mother-in-law).

Both my mothers have very different personalities and yet they share a common weapon in bringing up their children.

Let me first share about Mama. Truth to be told, my family was once living in luxury. I was too young to taste it tho. However, Allah’s will, and in a blink of an eye, all those luxuries just vanished into thin air. Although my family wasn’t living in poverty, but we were living just below average. We were also living in fear because my dad trusted his childhood friend too much that he agreed to be a guarantor from illegal debtors for him. When his friend ran away, our family became the target. No, I don’t blame my dad at all. He has a kind heart and he can’t see people who are in need of money.

All my siblings were quite young. I was the youngest. Because our house was the target now, my parents decided to seek shelter from our relatives for their children’s safety. I was separated from some of my siblings because there were four of us and it wouldn’t be convenient for my relatives to accommodate their own family and mine.

It went on for at least three years until Mama couldn’t take it anymore. Which mom is able to live separately with her children?  She gathered all strength and courage, and tries to make things right again. She brought my eldest brother to our house that was filled with splashes of paints on the front door, with the keyholes being filled with dried super glue. I can’t imagine how Mama faced all those embarrassments, walking up the staircase with spray stains “O$P$” together with our house unit on the side walls. I can’t imagine how she had to face our neighbours while she struggled with the house door and trying to repaint it. I can’t imagine how she lived in that house for days and weeks without electricity and water just so that she can call the house filled with cobwebs home again. MasyaAllah…

Mama has been working for the longest time. Just because of a few wrong financial decisions made more than a decade ago, she is still working in a fast-food restaurant when she is 55 years old now. On last Friday (I reached home at 12 midnight), I came all the way from Kuala Lumpur so that I can spend the whole day with her but much to my disappointment, during Fajr, my mom took a last minute cupping booking after her morning shift which means she will only be free after Isya’ prayer. I was utterly sad but I came to my senses. She’s not getting younger and she doesn’t want to die with the burden of having to be accountable for the debts during Judgment Day.

Mama is a very soft-hearted person. She easily cries. My siblings will always make fun of her whenever her eyes start to well up whenever we watch sad movies. At 16, I joined an event and we had to give a speech to our own mother in front of a crowd. My mum cried at everyone’s speech except mine. She said I have no feelings. I couldn’t really comprehend the technique of crying at that period because I thought I was strong. However, after I became wiser, I had to give another speech at another event when I was 22. This time round, I couldn’t even continue with my speech because I realised how much sacrifices my mum has made for her children. One of the reasons I cried was because I was going to leave her for four years because I just get accepted into my current school in Kuala Lumpur. But little did I expect that I am going to lead a new life few months after that.

There’s so much about selfless Mama I wish I could share here.

Mak on the other hand has always been a housewife. Mak is a very friendly person and she is lovable my many.  She is a mother of five and masyaAllah all her children are successful. All her children are not only knowledgeable about the worldly life, they are also extremely knowledgeable about the Deen. I would call them ‘world-changers’.

Mak and Bapak (my father-in-law) did not come from a wealthy family. They start from scratch and make their way up. They did not live an easy life initially but because of their dedication for their children’s future, they are able to reap what they painstakingly sow. Not that they expecting anything in return from their children, but because of they take into great consideration of the family institution that Allah SWT has bestowed them with ease now.

Just to note, I am not comparing my family with my in-laws family. Every family has their own challenges and it’s just so that Allah SWT wants my family to go through a particular hardship whereas my in-laws with other set of hardship. Ultimately, all those hardships are Allah’s way of calling us to Him.

Back to Mak. Honestly, I would say I am a terrible daughter-in-law. I do  not cook at home, I go back home as and when (due to school), and Mak has every right to be mad at me for leaving her son alone in Jordan. But Mak has never once talk to me into quitting school because she knows the importance of education. Mak is every woman’s ideal mother-in-law. She has never interfered into any of her children’s marriage life for no legit reason.

Just like Mama,  Mak is such a selfless person. Both of them taught me the art of giving. Mama, even though we have not much for ourselves, she must always give even it is just a dollar or two. Whenever we go for religious talks, she will always give me $2 to be put into the donation box. Mak on the other hand, she taught me to give more if you have more. I remembered when we were in Jordan and a Syrian lady knocked on our door. She was asking for some donation and on top of the monetary donation, Mak packed for her all the food stuff like cakes and cookies, etc, and we are left with just a bit. She said we can buy again next time. She always says this “if we help people, Allah will help us”. MasyaAllah.

Now, I mentioned earlier that both of them share a common weapon to struggle through life and that’s – TAHAJJUD.

Honestly, Mama has never really taught me about tahajjud. When I was younger, I always saw Mama on the praying mat whenever I needed to go to the toilet. It’s either she was in her sujood, or she was crying while raising her hands asking from her Lord. She was totally oblivious of her surroundings. Even up till now, when Mama ends her night shift at past 10pm and she has morning shift which requires her to clock in at 7am, she will never fail to perform tahajjud. Mama is a rather quiet person. When we were going through hard times, she never complains. She bottles up all  problems to herself yet at the same time her heart is always full. Her tawakul for her Lord is amazing and I have so much to learn from her.

My sister-in-law told us before that as far as possible, Mak never leaves her tahajjud. It’s amazing at how Mak was able to bring up five children all on her own while Bapak went out to work. Imagine all the struggles she had to face every single day. Imagine the sleepless nights she had to go through. She won’t be strong on her own. She has Allah with her. As I’ve not seen Mak during her struggles, my description does not even 1% truly display the struggles she had went through.

When mothers wake up for tahajjud, the first group of people they mention in their du’a are their children. As long as they are still breathing, even how tired they are, their mouth and heart will never stop making du’a for their children. Even when you are married and have your own children, their du’a for you will never stop. SubhanAllah. Love of a mother can never be replaced.

My sister-in-law shared with me once if I remember correctly “if you (mothers) do not wake up for tahajjud and make du’a for your children, your children will lose out because there are others out there who are making making du’a in their tahajjud for their children.”. MasyaAllah. Indeed. I can’t imagine what will happen to us if my Mothers did not perform tahajjud.

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I hope one day when I’ve become a mother myself, I will be able to be as strong as them and place my highest tawakul in Allah SWT. Ameen.

Allahu’alam.