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! ūüėÄ

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.

 

 

Being A Wife And A Student.

Bismillaahirrahmaanirraheem…

Assalamualaikum Wrt. Wbt.

Ever since I resumed my studies almost two months ago, I’ve been getting this question “You’re married, and you still want to study?” or “You’re married, and you can still study?”

Yes, I am 24. I am still in my first year as an undergraduate and insyaAllah graduating when I am 27. I am a Singaporean studying in Kuala Lumpur (KL), Malaysia. I have to leave my husband four days in a week. I will have to go back every.single.week back and forth Singapore – KL (journey from home to¬†school¬†by land – 6 to 7 hours). When I’m in Malaysia, I’m a student. When I’m in Singapore, I’m a wife. So I play multiple roles in a week. Contrary if I were to remain being a student at a local university, I would have celebrated my graduation day¬†with my batch mates this year.

So, back to the question – “You’re married, and you can still study?”

My answer is simple, I can study way better now than I was a student previously before marriage.

My intention in writing this post is because I’ve seen¬†the increasing trend¬†of couples marrying at a fairly young age; who¬†are still undergraduate students. After having a personal discussion with one of my psychology Professors on this matter, do I advocate marrying¬†while studying? Yes and no. Consider these factors:

What’s your intention for marriage?

This is the crux of the matter. The intention of marriage. Regularly we hear “if you want to avoid maksiat (vices), get married quickly”. If you want to marry with your current so called “other half” because you want to¬†stop doing¬†maksiat, then drop the thoughts of marriage. Marriage is such a sacred matter. It goes beyond making all the haram to halaal because if your reason is that, once you already get what you want, then is that the end¬†for your marriage?

Marrying should only be for Allah. You want to marry because marriage can bring you closer to Allah. Marriage can elevate your Imaan. Marriage can turn you¬†into an even better person/’abid(slave) and khalifah(leader) of Allah.

ISTIKHARAH. Let your spouse be “handpicked” and chosen¬†by Allah SWT.

Are you prepared to go through anything? Like really, ANYTHING?

You know you marry for Allah if you can go through anything and everything that hits you. You know you are strong with only Allah alone if let’s say you come into an argument with your spouse. You know you will take responsible actions because you do it for Allah. Every action you take because you want to get Allah’s mercy.

FINANCE

I’m not going to lie. If your parents or in-laws do not want to help you finance your studies, things are going to be hard on you. The husband will have to work and finance the family. My Prof told me she had students who were married on their first year and divorced on the their last year just because both parents do not want to support them financially and their marriage got weaker because of that. On the other hand, she also had students whose parents finance every single cent for them and they need not have to worry about money, and Alhamdulillah their marriage still going on well.

So before marriage, especially if you’re the guy, you need to sit down with the other party’s family and discuss how are they going to help you out (maybe loan without interest?) with financial issues. If your tawakkal in Allah is super strong, you believe Allah¬†will provide you with rizq after marriage,¬†maybe you would want to take the plunge. If you and your spouse agree that both of you can survive on just rice, egg and soya sauce¬†during hard times, then Alhamdulillah.

Oh yes, how bout if you’re blessed with children?

No distraction from the opposite gender.

I mentioned in the first factor, you should not marry because you want to avoid maksiat. However, the beauty of marriage is just masyaAllah. Once you marry for Allah, insyaAllah your marriage will be filled with tranquillity, affection and compassion. So being a student, one of our greatest distractions is the opposite gender.

During the first class of one of the subjects, I sat at the last row of the “female section”.¬†¬†When I entered, the classroom¬†was still quite empty. I didn’t realise there were going to be¬†quite a number¬†of guys because when I entered the other classes, the guys were almost non-existent. Lol. The guys in this class, they are particularly cheeky for I don’t know what reason. So when they make jokes, I see the girls smiling sheepishly and trying to glance the kind¬†I’m-looking-but-I’m-not at the guys. I was thinking to myself, if I wasn’t married, I will for sure try to peek at the guys too. SubhanAllah. How much Allah has protect me.

Being a married student has it’s perks and at the same time, it can be challenging. You can ask me how’s marriage and my first answer would always be “BEST!”. But that’s because Alhamdulillah I believe it was because of the istikharah I did and Allah has chosen for me to be married to a responsible man. At the same time, I know myself. I know that I will be able to adapt with whatever situation that comes and I know I will be strong because Allah is with me. I also realised that the words “seeking knowledge” have a totally new meaning for me. If before it would mean getting a degree, now it means doing it for Allah.¬†I’m not saying that I am pious, those who know me will know that I am made of flaws, but I am always trying, insyaAllah.

Now that my husband is away to resume his studies and we will be separated for 4 months, that’s another challenge for us. I ask for all of you who are reading this to make du’a for us, insyaAllah.

Do I have any regrets taking a re-route in life¬†2 years plus ago? No. Never, insyaAllah. From a future Programmer (programming and¬†I can never be bestfriends, that’s why I dump it. Lol.) to a future Islamic Psychologist, insyaAllah? ūüôā

Thanks, Kak Siti, for this lovely picture. <3

Thanks, Kak Siti, for this lovely picture. ‚̧

WAllahualam.

Slow At Reading The Qur’an? REJOICE!

Bismillaahirrahmaanirrahiim…
Assalaamu’alaikum Wr. Wbt.
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It’s the month of the most awaited by most Believers. Many may not even know why Ramadhan is so special yet they’re still able to feel the beauty in this blessed month. That itself, shows how beautiful Ramadhan is. People are chasing for rewards, they’re more conscious of Allah SWT, they perform good deeds and leave the evil.

I’ll not dwell too much into what can and should be done during Ramadhan but I’ll just go straight into the core of Ramadhan – Qur’an. The Qur’an was revealed in this particular month of Ramadhan. It’s the month of the Qur’an even before fasting was being revealed to our Prophet SAW. Angel Jibril (a.s) used to meet Rasulullah SAW every Ramadhan to read the Qur’an to him and listened to him reciting. On the year of Rasulullah SAW passing, he had to recite the Qur’an twice which was a hint that it’s his last year on earth.

That’s the Sunnah in Ramadhan. To read and listen to the Qur’an. Take this opportunity to perform as much Sunnah as possible because rewards for good deeds are multiplied. This is the month when the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of hell are closed. Whispers of syaitan are gone because they are being locked up. It’s all about you. It’s you who’s controlling yourself now.

Reciting the Qur’an is one of the easiest ways to gain rewards. Rasulullah SAW says:

“Whoever recites a letter from the Book of Allah, he will be credited with a good deed, and a good deed gets a ten-fold reward. I do not say that Alif-Lam-Mim is one letter, but Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter and Mim is a letter.” [at-Tirmidhi]

Let me tell you a story about me and my experience with Qur’an. I was granted permission by my ustazah to read the Qur’an at the age of 10. During my weekly Madrasah, I’ll always escape from reciting the Qur’an. I didn’t even manage to complete Surah Al-Baqarah. Even after the end of my weekly Madrasah, I kept giving excuses until the age of 22. I finally realised that I wasn’t able to identify Arabic words that swiftly. It took me soooo long just to read one verse of the Qur’an. I gave up and told myself I need to start back from Iqra’. So I attended Iqra’ classes with uncles and aunties as my classmates. If it took me so long to identify letters, it took them even much longer to decipher the letters in front of them. But their determination is just MasyaAllah.

So yes. It’s been two years now and I’m still not that swift and smooth in my recitation. I fumbled a lot. Like really a lot. And I’m just monotonous. I think I have some kind of tone deaf. Huhu.

Really. It’s not too late. And it’s never too late. It’s only too late when the Angel of Death visits you. But you’ll never know when he will come. So start now my dear brothers and sisters.

Whenever you feel like giving up on reading because you’re so frustrated with yourself not being able to read the Qur’an fluently, remind yourself of this beautiful hadith:

“The one who is proficient in the recitation of the Qur’an will be with the honorable and obedient scribes (angels) and he who recites the Qur’an and finds it difficult to recite, doing his best to recite it in the best possible way, will have a double reward. ” [al-Bukhari]

However, do not use the hadith above as an excuse for you not to improve your recitation. You need to improve reading it. Go for Qur’an reading classes, find someone who can point out your mistakes, get someone who’s as motivated as you to complete the Qur’an together. Once you manage to grasp the fundamentals of reciting the Qur’an, teach it to others.

“The best of you are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it.” [al-Bukhari]

Qur’an is the Book of Guidance. Reciting is one thing, understanding is another. There’s no use of reciting the Qur’an if you do not understand what message Allah SWT tries to send. It’s like reading a Spanish book but not understanding the content. Living in an Arab country for almost 2 years now just proves how people can be so ignorant yet they memorise the Qur’an from cover to cover.

Let us pray that we do not fall into this category that Allah SWT mentioned in the Qur’an:

“Do they not then reflect on the Qur’an? Nay, on the hearts there are locks.” (Muhammad: 24)

Our Prophet Muhammad SAW loved listening to his companions reciting the Qur’an despite him being the greatest reciter of the Qur’an. His eyes would shed tears contemplating on Allah SWT’s words. What about us? May we not be among those whose hearts are locked.

A friend of mine once shared with me this trick. Whenever you feel down and need someome to talk to, randomly open up any page of the translated version of the Qur’an and read any verse that your heart brings you to. You’ll realise as if Allah SWT is talking directly to you. Internalize the meaning and ponder on them.

Another trick my friend shared with me was to change the second and third person personal pronoun to first person. For example:

“When you sought aid from your Lord, so He answered you: I will assist you with a thousand of the angels following one another.” (al-Anfal: 9)

Read it as:

“When I sought aid from my Lord, so He answered me: I (Allah) will assist me with a thousand of the angels following one another.”

That way, there’ll be a greater impact on you and you’ll feel like Allah is directly addressing you when reading the Qur’an. Allah has lots of things that He wants to tell us. His Book has everything that we need to feed our soul. The Qur’an contains both cure and mercy, and also admonition and lessons.

“And We send down of the Qur’an that which is healing and mercy for the believers.” (al-Isra’: 82)

“But remind by the Qur’an whoever fears My threat” (Qaf: 17)

Make the Qur’an your best friend cz it shows that you’re actually having Allah SWT as your best friend. Get a pocket sized Qur’an and it’s meaning. Bring it with you everywhere. Since it’s Ramadhan now, try to complete the whole Qur’an within this month. You’ll realise there’ll not be a time whereby you’re bored. You’ll always be occupied with your ‘best friend’.

May we be amongst those who will always be guided. May we die with the Qur’an in our hands and importantly in our heart. May the Qur’an come as an intercessor for us on the Day of Resurrection.

WAllahualam.

+ Sources for this post regarding Qur’an are extracted from the book “Tafsir of The Last Qur’anic Juz’ and Tafsir of Surah Al-Fatihah, Ayatul-Kursi Summarised from Tafsir Ibn Kathir and The Most Needed Topics for Muslims” revision and introduction by Dr. Salih bin Fawzan al-Fawzan, a member of the Committee of Senior Scholars and a member of the Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and Fatawa, KSA. Free copies of this book were distributed at Mecca.

Marriage Is Not The End Of Life

Bismillaahirrahmaanirrahiim…
Assalaamu’alaikum Wr. Wbt.

Being surrounded by undergraduate students, many of them told me of their intention to marry. However there were a lot of BUTS. Those undergraduates were mainly in their early twenties which made me¬†I realise that I was married at quite a young age of 22. Being an undergraduate myself who’s been married for 17 months now, I had to reassure them that marriage isn’t the end of life and at the same time it’s not really the start of life too. I would say, it’s the start of a whole new adventure (literally). (Read: How I Met My Husband)

InsyaAllah I’ll try to debunk some myths and worries that people have about marrying at a young age (especially as an undergraduate) or marriage in general.

1. “But… I’ve no savings for the wedding and for the future.”

¬†Financial issues have got to be the top worry. Trust me, if you keep running after money, money will keep running away from you. And in this increasingly demanding pressure for a grand wedding, you’ll never be able to gather that much money in a short time.

This goes especially to undergraduates or students as a whole. If you’ve already someone in mind, do not drag the relationship. For the wedding, perform what is wajib and leave what’s wasteful. A grand wedding won’t determine a long-lasting marriage. It will only determine a long-lasting loan! (Read: Islamic Couple?)

If both you and your future spouse are still studying and you can’t afford to pay for the school fees, get a healthy “loan” from the parents. Meaning, discuss with your future in laws if they can still provide for their daughter’s studies until you get a job and able to pay them back. If you’re really sincere, InsyaAllah they’ll be able to feel your sincerity.

Plus, don’t worry. Allah SWT help you, insyaAllah. Isn’t He’s the One who provides rizq (sustenance)?

2. “But… I’ll have to stop studying!”

Especially for those who are still studying, this is a huge myth. However, this is greatly depending on who you’re married to. If you’re married to someone who very much placed great importance on gaining knowledge, then InsyaAllah you’ll be able to keep studying till the end of time.

What’s important here is to know the objective of the marriage before marrying. Objective is important because it directs where you want the marriage to head to. And if during the ta’aruf (getting to know) session you realise that your objective and the objective of the person who you intend to marry are not align, then maybe the person just isn’t for you.

Just a word of caution. There might be a period of time whereby you’ll have to be separated from your husband to pursue your studies especially if you’re pursuing it overseas. Maybe 4 months, 6 months, a year or more? This is the sacrifices that you’ve to go through. But trust me, you’ll have a halal motivation to go through this tough period together! And if you’re doing it only for Allah SWT, then InsyaAllah it will be easy for both of you.

3. “But… I’ll have to stay at home and serve my husband only.”

Partly, this isn’t true. Of cz your main priority is your husband but after you’ve served your husband, take care of the house, you can serve the society too. While your husband is out to work, with the permission of your husband, go out and contribute back to the society or gain some Islamic knowledge. Even if you’ve your own children, bring them together with you! You’ll be a role model to them, InsyaAllah – a supermum who doesn’t only care about what’s happening at home, but also cares for the society.

Oh, and a good husband will help you with the house chores whenever he can and he treats you well. Didn’t our beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW say that the best among you is the best towards his wife?

4. “But… I’ve yet to repay my parent’s kindness.”

This is the greatest myth of all time. Many a time people say this because their definition of repaying parent’s kindness is through monetary term. No one says that you’ve to stop serving your parents when you’re married! Serving our parents is an ongoing process till their last breath. Or even after they’ve passed away, we can still perform ‘amal jari’ah (continuous deeds) for them.

From my own experience, I can confidently say that the wellbeing of my parents gets even better with the presence of my husband. He doesn’t only treat them way better than I do, he also provides for them way more than I expect. I guess indirectly, I’m repaying my parents more than I thought I could (although we can never really repay their kindness fully).

5.¬†“But… I’m afraid of choosing the wrong guy.”

You don’t choose.Your parents don’t choose. No one will choose for you. You ask Allah SWT to choose. Humans make error, but God won’t. He creates you, He knows what’s best for you. Even though you think the person is the one for you, fact is, you wouldn’t know. Always always make istikharah and leave the decision to Allah SWT. Allah knows what’s best for you.

After constant istikharah and putting faith in Allah SWT, rest assured that Allah SWT will show you the way. Allah SWT will make it easy for you if the person really meant for you. However it will be made difficult for you if the person isn’t for you. Have trust in Him, and accept sincerely whatever the out gonna be. Even if you did not get the person, know that Allah SWT has placed you in the best position.

6. “But… I’m afraid of responsibility.”

Never-form-a-habit-ofLike it or not, even now that you’re single, you’re actually shouldering a certain amount of responsibility. We are just going to get older by the day, so why do we keep running away from responsibility? Responsibility makes us more mature and wise. You’ll realise that two person of the same age, but one married and the other not, they act differently being the former acting in a wiser way. Yes, marriage will make you wiser. It’s up to individuals how they carry themselves through their marriage. It’s either you take it as a positive adventure, or otherwise. It’s all up to you and your attitude. (Read: Am I Ready For Marriage?)

If you’re afraid of marrying someone who’s irresponsible, look up point number 5 again and again. And if you’ve any doubts, again, point number 5. Whatever we do, we have to aim to seek Allah SWT’s pleasure. Ask Allah SWT to be gifted with someone whose goal is to reunite with you in Jannah because he/she wants to meet Allah SWT together with you.

I hope whoever is reading this will be blessed with someone who’s able to complete half of your Deen and that you’ll be able to taste the sweetness of marriage soon, InsyaAllah. ūüôā

1149025_628686887161766_1271042974_nWAllahualam.