Okay... So I wrote in a couple of weeks ago about feeling so lousy and all. I'm not feeling so lousy anymore. Hah! I guess girls have their cycles...
So during one of my yoga sessions, the instructor said that if anyone asks how we are doing, our reply should be, "Excellent!"
There's something powerful about positive replies, he said. It would create a healthy chain of events. The other person would feel good or inspired and would pass the same spirit on to the next person he/she meets.
I pondered his words for a while. A few weeks ago I was feeling lousy, remember? I wanted to ask him, so the next time someone asks me that and I am not feeling quite excellent, I should lie about it?
But I never did ask him. Knowing yoga gurus, I think they wouldn't even allow negative thoughts.
...Which is why I am typing away right now. Never will I confide my problems with anyone in real life. Anyway, that would make a FINE title for an art film.
I am at a point in my life where I feel slightly disoriented and sometimes alone, even though I am surrounded by friends and loved-ones. Now, why is that? I, myself, do not know why I'm having such feelings and am trying to find out exactly the cause of it.
I have been the youngest staff at my workplace ever since I got posted there. The bulk of my colleagues are in their thirties. And since my working environment is pre-dominantly female, the topic of conversation would normally and naturally revolve around children, or rather THEIR children. Most of the time I do join in, but as I am single and without a child, the conversation doesn't flow as smoothly.
My close friends are settling down one by one. Three of them are getting married this year, another will be next year. There are 9 of us. 4 down, 5 more to go. I worry I'll be the last one left on the shelf. And then, before I knew it, even my shelf-life is over and I'm expired. We were talking the other time, and I slowly realised we are not on the same page as we were before. All they ever talk about now are wedding preparations and wedding preparations and... nothing else! I feel nostalgic walking down memory lane, remembering our care-free days back in school. But I know change is inevitable.
I don't talk about my anxieties to my family. You can share my laughter, but never my sorrow. Sometimes I think it is unfair to cause them unnecessary worries. I tell myself, "I'm all right!" which is not always true, but I'm also afraid these pent-up feelings may be bad for my health. Already experiencing some of the signs and symptoms...
Am I egoistic? Or maybe I just want to deny that actually I am not all right.
I never share my sorrow.
Do I see a mortal shoulder to cry on?
My friend who is single and has never been married, was once very adamant that she would not mind if her husband were to take another wife. She feels this is what a true-believing woman should do, let live and let go, let love and let share... until she read a poignant email from a woman who has actually done it.
One chilly winter night, you sleep all alone since a very long time ago, while your husband feels all snug from another person's warmth on his wedding night.
Sometimes, one cannot help but feel human. You think you are mentally prepared for it, but it's a whole different story altogether when it comes.
...Which reminds me of a time when I asked a married man why he was looking for a second wife, to which he gave such an unsatisfactory reply of, "Because I can afford it."
Then I started telling him that he will never know what it feels like for a woman and went on with the above story of the one-chilly-winter-night.
The man said, "You don't have to sleep all alone. We can ALL sleep together..."
Now is it just me, or something is REALLY wrong here?
As salaamu alaikum.
A friend lent this book to me once, which I thought is boring because of its dull and unattractive cover.
Boy, was I wrong! This small and thin paperback contains many short BUT crisp chapters. Now I truly appreciate the literal meaning of 'Don't judge a book by its cover'.
I like this chapter the most and will translate it to the best of my ability:
One day, Rasulullah SAW said, "Allah has stated (in a hadith qudsi): I give, surah Al-Fatihah between My servant and I. Half is for Me and the other for My servant. And I will grant every of My servant's wishes..."
When the servant says, "In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious and the Most Merciful."
Allah Azza wa Jalla answers, "My servant begins with mentioning My Name. And because of him, I have the Right to perfect all that is with him and bless him whole."
Servant: All praises are for Allah, Lord of the 'Alamin.
Allah Azza wa Jalla: My servant has praised Me; he knows the ni'mat that he has is from Me and the calamity that is away from him is because of My Love. Bear witness that I will increase all the ni'mat in the Hereafter as well as in this world; and I will avoid all the calamities of the Hereafter like how I avoid all the calamities of the world from him.
Servant: The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Allah Azza wa Jalla: My servant has borne witness that I am the Most Gracious and the Most Merciful; now bear witness that I will fill his life with My Rahmah, and I will bless his life with all of My Offerings.
Servant: Maaliki yaumiddeen, Master of the Day of Judgement.
Allah Azza wa Jalla: Bear witness like how he has admitted that I am the One with Power on Judgement Day, and I will make easy all that he is accounted for as well as I will forgive him of his wrongdoings.
Servant: Iyyaka na'budu, only You we worship...
Allah Azza wa Jalla: My servant is right when he worships Me. Bear witness that I will reward him because of his worshipping until the persons who are not like him will feel envious towards him.
Servant: ...wa iyyaka nasta'in, and only You we ask for help.
Allah Azza wa Jalla: My servant has asked help of Me and I will reciprocate. Now bear witness that I will help him in all of his doings; I will help him in all of his difficulties and I will extend My Hand to him at his bitter hours.
Servant: Ihdinas sirathal mustaqim shiratal ladzina an'amta 'alaihim ghairil maghdubi 'alaihim wa ladhdholin, guide us to the Straight Path, the Path of those whom You have bestowed Your Grace; not those who earned Your Anger nor those who went astray.
Allah Azza wa Jalla: This part is for My servant. They have the right to what they asked for. I have granted My servant's wishes; I have given him what he has hoped for. I have redeemed him from what he requested with My Protection.
-Taken from 'Sufi's Dialogues'-
And this is my all-time favourite hadith: The Prophet SAW said, "Allah Azza wa Jalla says, I am just as My servant thinks I am, and I am with him if he remembers Me. If he remembers Me in himself, I too, remember him in Myself; and if he remembers Me in a group of people, I remember him in a group better than them; and if he comes one span nearer to Me, I go one cubit nearer to him; and if he comes one cubit nearer to Me, I go a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running..." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 9, Hadith No. 502)
Wow! Wow! Wow!
PS: All good is from Allah SWT and all shortcomings are from me.
My poor friend. Her parents are arguing yet again, and at what a time?! In the holy month of Ramadhan?...
Everytime her mother complains to her about her father, my poor friend would feel all stressed up because what is she to do? What does her mother want her to do? Her father is an old-fashioned, egoistic man who doesn't take woman's (i.e. his wife) advice kindly at all, no matter how tactful the woman puts it!
And I know my friend pretty well. Everytime they have such family crisis, it would most probably affect her work too.
In the Noble Qur'an (3:110), Allah has stated that Muslims are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind because we enjoin Al-Ma'ruf and forbid Al-Munkar.
What happens then if a father, meaning head of the family, salats but at the same time has this addictive habit of buying lottery tickets?!! I know it's not those high-stakes gambling at casinos, but still I believe buying lottery tickets is a form of gambling too.
I asked her if she has ever tried to reason with her father about his bad habits. She doesn't dare too. Would it be insolent? Sigh...
What would you do, dear readers, if you were in this situation?
Times like this, I wish we could somehow file a complaint against errant fathers to the Syariah Court. Since they cannot take women's words well, then maybe the court should issue them a letter to force them to go for some counselling sessions to better themselves. If they fail to attend, they should be fined!
At the moment, I told my friend that during these last 10 days of Ramadhan she should supplicate this:
"O Allah! You are Muqollibal Qulub (One who turns all hearts), please let Papa have a change of heart!"
I did! But how authentic the cries were is debatable...
I happened to listen to this audio CD my aunt passed to me, during one of our iftar sessions at my grandparents' place.
And I tell you, it does give goosebumps and that tingling sensation to most listeners!
The content of the CD is not in the English Language and I wish I could somehow upload it here but according to it, a bunch of seismologists was doing a research and they inserted this microscopic device into the depths of the earth.
What they heard and saw next was something that their brains could not register, being non-Muslim Westerners and all. (I'm not sure if they reverted after that...)
Anyway, the CD also inserted this audio clip of the seismologists' interview with the BBC. BUT unfortunately there is no indication of any date or if BBC did a follow-up on this.
Now, what EXACTLY did those seismologists hear?
Are YOU ready?
Cries. Cries of EXCRUCIATING pain. Like of how someone is being SEVERELY tortured. And if you listen really closely, you can hear an extremely faint voice calling out, "Allahu Akbar!" (Angel Malik? Guardian of Hades. I don't know, but I'm getting goosebumps myself as I'm typing this.) All these sounds are amidst some horrible howling of the wind.
On the surface of the earth, something else happened. Black smoke actually came out from the soils they were on, after they made the recording. At first, those seismologists did not think much about it, but I guess after what they had encountered, they fine-tuned their findings and made the discovery!
You may think this looks like a scene out of some B-grade Hollywood movie, but I forgot to mention where the research took place. Was it Serbia? I'm not sure but THINK! There was some sort of ethnic-cleansing of the poor, innocent, helpless and hapless Muslims in that area. The men and children were killed and the women were raped. Back then, no one thought of calling that organised group of people terrorists... And the guy who was responsible for all that died in prison even before he was tried!
When I listen to CDs like this, a part of me want to believe in everything that I have heard. There's also the sceptic side of me thinking, perhaps those sounds were made from the vibrations of the earth or the flowing of the magma. Who knows?
Whatever it is, I must tell you that it has impacted on some persons. Apparently my aunt told me that one of her colleagues, who was a nominal Muslim, started to observe fasting this Ramadhan. And her son had a change of heart and wanted to visit a clinic to remove his tattoos out of his own free will. Alhamdulillah...
I'll leave you now with my favourite line from Moustapha Akkad's film 'The Message': Islam storms hearts... not walls. (Or so it went, something like that. Hehe... but THINK! Umar Al-Khattab r.a.)
Allah knows best!
Salam to all.
I've always admired reverts' journey to find out the Truth. It's like they have tasted all the delicacies in the world but they finally settle on this one.
I will never have the same kind of wonder or awe...
I'm a born Muslim but I think I got serious about this faith only a few years ago, but I knew I have always been spiritually-inclined.
Let me share my story:
I remember when I was about 5-years-old, lying on the bed with my cousin of the same age, who just had an argument with her mother about some stuff.
Cousin: I'm angry at my mother!!! I wish she will turn into a monkey!!!
Me: (gasps) Oh-uh!!! You cannot say that!!! You will BURN IN HELL!!!
So you see, that was how the old-fashioned religious teachers had been teaching the religion:
"You cannot do this, you cannot do that or you will most definitely BURN IN HELL!"
"Allah LOVES it best if you do this and you do that."
And I just reiterated that to my cousin. She turned to look at me and said, "When I grow up, I want to be a Christian."
Even though I may be young then, I knew you shouldn't say something like that. BUT I was pondering about it. Hmmm... They go to church only once a week, unlike us who have to pray 5 times a day!!! It's tiring... And besides, when they do go to church, all they do is raise their hands up and sing to their hearts' content: Jesus LOVES you! Jesus LOVES you! <-- It looks like fun!
I replied to my cousin, "Yea! I want to be a Christian too, when I grow up!!"
But Alhamdulillah, up until now my cousin and I have never turned our backs to Islam. I may be born into it, but now I know I choose to keep my faith.
Sometimes when I'm feeling that my Iman is low, I would read reverts' stories to be inspired and be grateful that I do not have to go through half of the sacrifices they went through.
I have much respect for you reverts! For some of them, I even noticed that they are usually more devout than born-Muslims.
So if you have had a wonderful experience throughout your journey to have come where you are right now, please share.
fatima22 (Hey! How do I contact you?)