Friday, September 21, 2007



Officially moved to
See you there InsyaAllah :)


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Convocation :D


I’ve always been secretly envious of the UBD graduates. Their convocation ceremony always looks sooo grand to me. What with its venue at the brand new Chancellor Hall and the certificates given personally by the Sultan or crown prince– my convocation was almost nothing compared to theirs.

Mine was held at a sports complex! Decorated of course. hehe. I don’t know who in the world was the Chancellor. Everything was very informal thus no rehearsal was needed. If I’m not mistaken our instructions to go onstage were given on a piece of paper. My name was wrongly pronounced too. hehe.

But Alhamdulillah, I managed to experience the UBD convo today. It was extremely fun! Everyone looked nervous when we were putting on our robes at the basement. I had a love-and-hate-relationship with my hat too. Somehow or other my head grew over the years and my graduation hat wouldn’t stay put. Images of my hat falling off my head while on the stage kept on playing on my mind but thank god to double sided tapes! hehe.

While sitting down watching the other graduates going down the stage, I thought to myself how lucky I am as a Muslim to experience a Convocation ceremony in my own country, a muslim country.

While queuing at the basement waiting to go to the hall, a duaa was read, asking Allah to bless the ceremony. Then when we were in the hall, we recited Al-Fatihah. And we ended the ceremony with another duaa, thanking Allah for blessing the event. Every speech made started with Basmallah and Assalamualaikum. I could see hijjabis on my left, right, front and back.

Sigh. It was beautiful. Alhamdulillah.

So to Safi, you were saying that you're curious about Muslims in Brunei. Believe me I don't even know how to begin to explain to you about how we live our life here. Alhamdulillah, I must say we are very blessed here. Brunei is an alcohol free country (well, almost). When it is time for the prayer, one can always hear the call of the Azan as masjids are everywhere. Most of us attend religious school at the age of 8 (?) for six years and we can continue our studies if we want to. We've just established an Islamic University this year called Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali. Oh and you can find Halal food everywhere (I'm telling you this because I remember when I went to Washington to visit my aunt we had to travel soo far to get halal meat. hehe.) We pretty much uphold our Islamic values here, however, I personally think we still need to be educated on how to live like a true Muslim and we still need to be reminded that Islam is a way of life. Anyhoo, if you want to know more just holler alright?

On another note, Ramadhan starts tomorrow!!!!

InsyaAllah, a proper post on Ramadhan's coming up. :)

Labels: ,


Monday, September 03, 2007

Purifying the Heart

A few weeks back I went to Solitude in the hope of finding some Islamic children’s readings for my niece’s up coming birthday. I ended up buying some books for myself instead! hehe.

This one particular book immediately caught my attention when I entered the shop.

“Glimpses of the Lives of Righteous People.”

I think its title is pretty much self explanatory but it is the very first story written in the book that made me immediately fell in love with it. The story is extremely short – in fact it is only one paragraph long. But after reading it, a thousand emotions washed over me.

Allah, please keep me and those around me on the right path.
Allah, please save us from takabbur (Arrogance).
Allah, please save us from ujub (self-pride).

Sincere Advice

It is reported that a man was closely watching Bishr As-Sulaimi (RadiAllahu anhu), who was prolonging his prayer and performing it well.

When Bishr completed his prayer, he said to the man, “Do not be deceived
by what you have seen from me. For indeed, Iblis the Devil – may Allah curse him- worshipped Allah for thousands of years and then ended up being what he is now!”


MasyaAllah, I learned so much from that one paragraph.

Indeed, it was takabbur that made the syaitan a deviate. And he had prayed a thousand of years before that!

Take a look at ourselves. How many years have we prayed? Is our iman strong enough? The chance for us to go ashtray is always there. The syaitans will not stop working hard to bring us with him.

Hence we need to be in constant vigilance. We need to constantly think over our conceptions of life and mend them accordingly to what is right. Never be content with what we have done so far when it comes to our faith. There is always ways for us to make it better. Always.

What else did I learn from that one paragraph?

The dangers of Takabbur. The dangers of ujub.

They are amongst the most difficult diseases to cure.

Takabbur is when a person thinks he is better than the rest. It is when a person thinks he is more intelligent than another just because he is from a foreign university and the other is from a local one. It is when he thinks he is a better person just because he is the son of so-and-so. It is when he thinks his opinions matter more just because he is older. Someone with takabbur does not accept advice and criticism from others easily as he truly thinks that he is high above others beyond reproach.

Ujub is when a person looks at herself with pride. It is when she looks at herself in the mirror and she feels amazed at how beautiful she is. It is when she thinks she is the most intelligent person in the room. It is when she thinks she can never do wrong as she is perfect, free from weaknesses and mistakes. A person with ujub likes to boast and show that she is better than the rest. She is most definitely not happy if others do not accept her opinion.

Allah Ta'ala says:"Verily, Allah does not love the proud ones."

Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said:"He who has a grain of pride in his heart will not enter Jannat."

Do not lie to ourselves. I’m sure in one way or another, we have felt ujub or takkabur in the past. They are amongst diseases that recur. They are like those flies that we need to keep on swatting.

How do we cure ujub? By remembering that Allah can just simply snatch away all the gifts He bestowed on us within the blink of an eye. We need to ponder upon our faults and remember our dependence on Allah to even breathe. How dare we feel ujub when all that we have is not even ours in the first place.

To cure takabbur is to see others as being better than ourselves in the eyes of Allah. If you see someone much older than us, we should think that he had prayed to Allah far longer than us. Therefore he becomes better than us. While if we see someone younger, we should think that he has never committed sins while our sins are uncountable, then why should we be proud of ourselves?

When we see someone who is jahil and ignorant, we acknowledge that he is committing sins. But he commits his sins in ignorance. We are aware that something is sinful, and yet, we do it. With our 'Ilm, how are we to answer for our actions in front of Allah?

These are the questions and reminders that we must remember always to protect ourselves from the feelings of takabbur and ujub. These reminders goes out to me first and foremost.

Let me leave you with Ayah:

فَٱدْخُلُوۤاْ أَبْوَابَ جَهَنَّمَ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا فَلَبِئْسَ مَثْوَى ٱلْمُتَكَبِّرِينَ

Surah An-nahli ayat 29 : Tafsirnya: Oleh itu, masukilah pintu-pintu neraka, tinggal kekallah kamu didalamnya, maka sesungguhnya neraka itu seburuk-buruk tempat bagi orang-orang yang sombong takabbur.

Surah An-Nahl verse 29: And it will also be said to them: So enter the gates of Hell, to abide therein! Evil indeed is the lodging, the abode, of the arrogant.

May Allah protect us from the diseases of the heart. Amin.


Saturday, September 01, 2007

A rojak post

Salaam everyone :D

I loveee my nieces. They can be so innocently hilarious. My eldest niece was sitting next to her sister when she suddenly let go of her deadly gas (LOL!).

Niece 1: Oppss sorry!
Niece 2: Kaka ani, cubatah cakap Alhamdulillah. (Kaka, you were supposed to say Alhamdulillah)


My sister i.e. their mom, cracked up and said: Ehhh mana ada cakap Alhamdulillah lapas kantut! (Ehhh you don’t say Alhamdulillah after you broke wind!)
Niece 2: Alhamdulillah lapas apa tah? (When do we say Alhamdulillah then?)
My sister: Lapas berasin. ( After sneezing)
Niece 2: Lapas kantut? ( After breaking wind?)
My sister: Mana ada. (Nothing!)

LOL blessss.

Niece 1 put on her thinking look and asked: Lapas menguap cakap apa babu? (What do we say after yawning?)
My sister: A’uzubillah.
Niece 1 scratched her head and muttered to herself: “banyak jua kan di ingati ani.” (I have so much to remember!)

Aren’t they adorable?? Heheheh. My eldest niece is 4 while the second one is 3. May they be within Allah’s hidayah always. Amin.

Anyway, it was such a beautiful day today don’t you think? I love Friday. It’s our family breakfast day. It’s our mommy-daughters-window-shopping day. It’s also my girlie Halaqah meet day :D :D. We listened to many many scary stories about Qiyamah during halaqah btw. *shivers*

As I mentioned many times (as I’m way too excited about it hehe) Ramadhan is coming soon. Usually it’s times like these that you will find most muslimahs frantically repaying (qadha’) their missed fast. hehe. Have you repaid yours? If you haven’t better start now before it’s too late.

Now every year, I hear some sisters telling me that they have up to 20 days or more to Qadha. Always the reason is that they have not repaid their fasts from 2 or 3 Ramadhans before. SO they say they have to double or even triple the number of days that they have to Qadha. Now ukhtis, that isn’t the right way to do it.
Whenever we missed certain fasting days, it is wajib for us to qadha them before the next ramadhan comes. If we did not manage to repay our fast until the following ramadhan, then we still need to qadha them with the addition of paying fidyah. So NO doubling the number of fasting days- they are still the same.

And then if we still were unable to qadha until even the next ramadhan, the fidyah now will need to be doubled. But the number of days to qadha is STILL the same. So it is the fidyah that increases for every year that we put off our qadha and NOT the number of days to be repaid. Now remember, paying fidyah does not replace one’s responsibility to repay (qadha’) one’s missed fast. It is still compulsory for one to repay (qadha’) one’s missed fast as long as one has the capacity and ability to do so.

What is fidyah? Fidyah is giving food to the poor and needy. Food here refers to the staple food of the community where the person lives in. For us here in Brunei, it is rice. Hence, those who pay fidyah must pay with one mud (secupak) of rice for each missed day.

Fidyah should be paid after one does not qadha' before the coming of the next Ramadan. And it should continue to be paid as long as the qadha' is not performed. Because fidyah does NOT replace qadha'.

Hence, if one does not fast in 2004, and he does not qadha' until Ramadan 2005, he must pay fidyah and qadha' before Ramadan 2006. If he does not qadha' till Ramadan 2006, then after the Ramadan, he must pay again the fidyah, times two, and qadha'.

I hope i’m not writing is not making u more confused. hehe. The clock is 0018. ERK. I better sleep now or the boss will find me snoring on my desk tomorrow. :D
p/s Sometimes i forget that those other than my friends also read this blog. so ive edited the post. heheheheheh.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Syaaban, a special month.


We now have about two more weeks left before ramadan. MasyaAllah! I can't wait! May Allah let us live long enough to go through ramadhan. Amin.

So how is your preparation for ramadhan going? As for me, I find that on the days that I'm not fasting, I tend to eat *uhuk* more. Then at night, I still find myself rushing through my prayers or skipping my sunnat prayers to make sure i dont miss certain tv programmes. Still need to work on my self-discipline I guess, cause the heart and mind are still too much focused on dunya, dunya and more dunyaaa.

I've decided to cut-and-paste the article from our state mufti office's website. Many valuable things were mentioned in the article on the benefits of syaaban. It's in Malay though, so apologies to the non-malay readers. Just holler if you want me to translate okeh?

One of the things that is highlighted in the article is that there is no such thing as sunnat nisfu sya'ban prayers and it falls under Bid'ah, hence should not be performed. However we are encouraged to perform sunnat prayers such as sunnatul hajat, witr, tahajjud, istikharah.

The prophet has never singled out 15th syaaban as the day that one should fast too. Instead he fasted as much as possible throughout the whole month of syaaban as mentioned by Aisyah:
“I never saw the Prophet (peace be upon him) fast an entire month except for the month of Ramadân. I never saw him fast more often in any other month than he did in Sha`bân.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1969) and Sahîh Muslim (1156)]

I hope I've made that clear to everyone. :)

So to the Malay readers, your reading should not end here ok? Please go on :D

BULAN SYA'BAN : Persediaan Di Ambang Ramadhan

Setiap bulan dalam sepanjang tahun mengikut kiraan taqwim Hijriyyah mempunyai kelebihan tertentu dan keistimewaan beribadat di dalamnya. Sesungguhnya Allah Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala menciptakan hari atau bulan itu ada yang baik dan ada yang lebih baik. Sebagaimana yang disebutkan oleh hadis Nabi Shallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam mengenai kelebihan bulan Muharram, Rejab, Sya‘ban, Ramadhan, Syawal dan Zulhijjah sebagai bulan-bulan yang istimewa. Begitu juga dengan hari-hari tertentu seperti Juma‘at, Khamis dan Isnin mempunyai pelbagai fadhilat.

Bulan Sya‘ban Dan Galakkan Beribadat Di Dalamnya

Sekarang kita berada di bulan Sya‘ban. Bulan Sya‘ban juga mempunyai keistimewaan tersendiri di dalam Islam. Keadaan ini samalah juga dengan bulan-bulan yang lain yang mempunyai fadhilat tersendiri, sehingga menyebabkan kehadirannya sentiasa ditunggu-tunggu oleh mereka yang ahli ibadat sebagai masa mengaut pahala.

Bulan Sya‘ban adalah antara bulan yang paling dicintai oleh Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam di mana Baginda Shallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam akan lebih banyak berpuasa di bulan ini. Pernah diriwayatkan bahawa Baginda tidak pernah berpuasa sunat dalam sebulan, lebih banyak daripada puasanya di bulan Sya‘ban.

Dalam makna yang lain Baginda Nabi Shallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam memperbanyakkan puasa sunat di bulan Sya‘ban dibandingkan bulan-bulan yang lain. Oleh kerana itu amatlah dituntut bagi umat Islam mencontohi apa yang dilakukan oleh Baginda itu kerana selain memperbanyak amal kebajikan di bulan ini, ia juga merupakan suatu latihan rohani ke arah mempersiapkan diri menyambut kedatangan bulan Ramadhan.

Amalan-Amalan Sunat Pada Bulan Sya‘ban

Keistimewaan bulan ini bahawa amalan seluruh manusia diangkat untuk dihadapkan kepada Allah Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala, maka sewajarnyalah sepanjang bulan ini diisikan dengan amal ibadah dan kebajikan. Maka antara amalan yang digalakkan pada bulan Sya‘ban adalah:

1. Memperbanyak puasa sunat.

Bahawa Nabi Shallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam lebih gemar berpuasa sunat dalam bulan Sya‘ban berbanding dengan bulan-bulan yang lain.

2. Bertaubat dan beristiqhfar

Taubat ialah pembersihan rohani kerana taubat itu menjadi tuntutan dalam agama supaya setiap diri individu yang sememangnya tidak ma‘shum ini melakukan taubat pada setiap masa dan ketika. Tegasnya hukum taubat itu adalah wajib dari segi syara‘. Walau bagaimanapun sebenar-benar taubat itu ialah yang dikatakan taubat nasuha.

Taubat nasuha tidak akan tercapai tanpa mendatangkan terlebih dahulu syarat-syarat yang ditentukan. Umpamanya jika dosa itu antara hamba dengan Tuhan:

1. Hendaklah dia meninggalkan dosa atau maksiat itu.
2. Hendaklah dia benar-benar menyesali dan merasa dukacita atas perbuatan maksiatnya itu.
3. Hendaklah dia berjanji dan berazam untuk tidak akan kembali mengulangi melakukannya.

Manakala jika dosa itu bersangkut paut dengan hak orang lain, maka selain syarat-syarat sebagaimana yang disebutkan di atas, ditambah lagi satu syarat iaitu hendaklah membersihkan dirinya daripada hak orang itu atau orang yang melakukan dosa itu memohon maaf kepada orang berkenaan.

Selain daripada itu, peranan taubat itu sendiri tidak terhenti setakat membersihkan diri daripada segala dosa dan maksiat. Lebih daripada itu ia juga merupakan suatu cara untuk kita sentiasa berlindung diri kepada Allah subhanahu wa Ta‘ala memohon keberkatan ketika kita memulakan dan membuat sesuatu pekerjaan yang berfaedah dan mengharapkan kurnia, taufiq serta diselamatkan daripada ditimpa musibah, kesusahan, kesulitan dan sebagainya.

Adapun istighfar itu pula ialah pernyataan memohon ampun kepada Allah daripada semua dosa. Lafaz istighfar itu di antaranya ialahأستغفر الله العظيم bererti: “Aku memohon ampun kepada Allah yang Maha Agung”.

3. Memperbanyak zikir dan berdoa

Zikir ialah ucapan yang dilakukan dengan lidah atau mengingati Allah dengan hati, dengan ucapan atau ingatan yang mempersucikan Allah dan membersihkanNya dari sifat-sifat yang tidak layak untukNya.

Terdapat banyak ayat al-Qur’an dan hadis yang memerintahkan agar manusia mengambil berat tentang zikir. Banyak faedah yang diperolehi hasil daripada berzikir. Antaranya ialah:

i. Menenangkan hati:

Ini bersesuaian dengan janji Allah Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala bahawa orang-orang yang beriman itu tenang hati mereka dengan zikrullah. Ini kerana berzikir (mengingati Allah) itu mententeramkan hati manusia.

ii. Kawalan Diri dan Perlindungan Malaikat:

Seseorang itu merasa terkawal kerana Allah sentiasa menyertainya di mana sahaja dia berada. Akibatnya paling minima dia takut hendak berbuat maksiat dan bersedia pula untuk melakukan ketaatan.

Bahkan dia juga mendapat kawalan sepenuhnya daripada malaikat. Bagi orang yang sekadar duduk di majlis zikir sekalipun tidak bersama berzikir akan mendapat juga rahmat Allah dan kawalan malaikat.

iii. Terpelihara Daripada Godaan dan Pujukan Syaitan.

iv. Meningkatkan Rasa Kecintaan Kepada Allah:

Untuk meningkatkan kecintaan kepada Allah, mestilah memahami dan menghayati bacaan tasbih, doa dan istighfar yang diucapkan itu.

Antara keistemewaan amalan zikir itu pula ialah:

i. Zikir boleh dilaksanakan bila-bila masa walaupun sedang melakukan pekerjaan tanpa terikat dengan waktu. Ia juga boleh dilaksanakan dalam keadaan duduk, tidur, berdiri dan baring.

ii. Boleh dilaksanakan walaupun dalam keadaan berhadas sama ada hadas kecil mahu pun hadas besar. Walau bagaimanapun makruh berzikir secara lisan ketika berada di dalam tandas.

Begitu juga dengan perkara doa. Doa boleh dilakukan tanpa mengira tempat dan masa. Doa ialah memohon sesuatu hajat atau perlindungan daripada Allah Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala dengan cara merendahkan diri dan tawadhu‘ kepadaNya.

Selain daripada itu banyak lagi amal kebajikan yang boleh dilaksanakan di bulan Sya‘ban ini sebagai persiapan menyambut kedatangan Ramadhan seperti memperbanyakkan selawat atas junjungan besar Nabi Muhammad Shallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam, bersembahyang sunat terutama di waktu malam, banyak bersedekah dan sebagainya. Maka rebutlah peluang dan kelebihan yang ada di bulan Sya‘ban ini untuk mempertingkatkan keimanan dan ketaqwaan kita. Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam pernah ditanya, mengapa Baginda melebihkan berpuasa sunat di bulan Sya‘ban berbanding bulan-bulan yang lain? Baginda bersabda:

ذَلِكَ شَهْرٌ يَغْفُلُ النَّاسُ عَنْهُ بَيْنَ رَجَبٍ وَرَمَضَانَ وَهُوَ شَهْرٌ تُرْفَعُ فِيهِ الأَعْمَالُ إِلَى رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ فَأُحِبُّ أَنْ يُرْفَعَ عَمَلِي وَأَنَا صَائِمٌ
(رواه النسائي)

Maksudnya: “Bulan itu (Sya‘ban) yang berada di antara Rejab dan Ramadhan adalah bulan yang dilupakan manusia dan ia adalah bulan yang diangkat padanya amal ibadah kepada Tuhan Seru Sekalian Alam, maka aku suka supaya amal ibadah ku di angkat ketika aku berpuasa”.
(Hadis riwayat an-Nasaie)

Kelebihan Malam Nisfu Sya‘ban

Adapun kelebihan Malam Nisfu Sya‘ban itu telah disebutkan di dalam hadis shahih daripada Mu‘az bin Jabal Radhiallahu ‘anhu, bersabda Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam yang maksudnya :
“Allah menjenguk datang kepada semua makhlukNya di Malam Nisfu Sya‘ban, maka diampunkan dosa sekalian makhlukNya kecuali orang yang menyekutukan Allah atau orang yang bermusuhan.”
(Hadis riwayat Ibnu Majah, at-Thabrani dan Ibnu Hibban)

Di Malam Nisfu Sya‘ban juga, adalah di antara malam-malam yang dikabulkan doa. Berkata Imam asy-Syafi‘e dalam kitabnya al-Umm: “Telah sampai pada kami bahawa dikatakan: sesungguhnya doa dikabulkan pada lima malam iaitu: pada malam Jumaat, malam Hari Raya Adha, malam Hari Raya ‘Aidil fitri, malam pertama di bulan Rejab dan malam nisfu Sya‘ban.”

Menghidupkan Malam Nisfu Sya‘ban

Nisfu Sya‘ban ialah hari ke lima belas daripada bulan Sya‘ban. Malam Nisfu Sya‘ban merupakan malam yang penuh rahmat dan pengampunan daripada Allah Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala. Kenyataan ini dapat direnung kepada hadis yang diriwayatkan oleh Mu‘az bin Jabal Radhiallahu ‘anhu di atas.

Adapun cara menghidupkan Malam Nisfu Sya‘ban sebagaimana yang dilakukan sekarang ini tidak berlaku pada zaman Nabi Shallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam dan zaman para sahabat. Akan tetapi ia berlaku pada zaman tabi‘in dari penduduk Syam. Menyebut al-Qasthalani dalam kitabnya al-Mawahib al-Ladunniyah, bahawa para tabi‘in daripada penduduk Syam seperti Khalid bin Ma‘dan dan Makhul, mereka beribadat dengan bersungguh-sungguh pada Malam Nisfu Sya‘ban. Maka dengan perbuatan mereka itu, mengikutlah orang ramai pada membesarkan malam tersebut.

Para tabi‘in tersebut menghidupkan Malam Nisfu Sya‘ban dengan dua cara:

1. Sebahagian mereka hadir beramai-ramai ke masjid dan berjaga di waktu malam (qiamullail) untuk bersembahyang sunat dengan memakai harum-haruman, bercelak mata dan berpakaian yang terbaik.

2. Sebahagiannya lagi melakukannya dengan cara bersendirian. Mereka menghidupkan malam tersebut dengan beribadat seperti sembahyang sunat dan berdoa dengan cara bersendirian.

Ada pun cara kita sekarang ini menghidupkan Malam Nisfu Sya‘ban dengan membaca Al-Qur’an seperti membaca surah Yasin, berzikir dan berdoa dengan berhimpun di masjid-masjid atau rumah-rumah persendirian sama ada secara berjemaah atau perseorangan adalah tidak jauh berbeza dengan apa yang dilakukan oleh para tabi‘in itu.

Amalan-Amalan Bid‘ah Dalam Bulan Sya‘ban

Dalam keghairahan kita menghidupkan Malam Nisfu Sya‘ban itu dengan berbagai cara ibadat, kita perlu berhati-hati agar tidak melakukan perkara-perkara bid‘ah.

Di antara perkara bid‘ah itu ialah bersembahyang sunat Nisfu Sya‘ban. Sembahyang ini sebenarnya tiada tsabit dalam ajaran Islam. Imam an-Nawawi dan Imam Ibnu Hajar telah menafikan adanya sembahyang sunat Nisfu Sya‘ban kerana suatu sembahyang itu disyariatkan cukup dengan sandarannya sama ada dari nash Al-Qur’an atau pun hadis.

Jika seseorang itu masih juga ingin untuk melakukan sembahyang, maka sayugialah dia mengerjakan sembahyang-sembahyang sunat yang lain seperti sunat Awwabin (di antara waktu maghrib dan Isya’), sembahyang tahajjud, akhirnya sembahyang witir atau sembahyang sunat muthlaq bukan sembahyang sunat Nisfu Sya‘ban. Sembahyang sunat muthlaq ini boleh dikerjakan pada bila-bila masa sahaja sama ada pada Malam Nisfu Sya‘ban atau pada malam-malam yang lain.

Adalah mendukacitakan pada malam yang penuh berkat dan keampunan itu, wujud perkara-perkara yang tidak selari dengan syara‘, iaitu adanya orang yang membuat hiburan atau mengadakan konsert pada Malam Nisfu Sya‘ban. Apatah lagi jika hiburan atau permainan yang diadakan itu melibatkan ramai orang Islam sehingga terlepas untuk merebut peluang beribadat dan berdoa pada malam tersebut. Perbuatan seumpama ini setentunya menyumbang kepada maksiat.

Sesunguhnya bulan Sya‘ban itu adalah bulan di mana Rasulullah Shallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam lebih banyak berpuasa sunat dibandingkan pada bulan-bulan yang lain, iaitu sebagai persiapan dan persediaan untuk menghadapi bulan Ramadhan. Amalan Baginda itu sewajarnya dicontohi oleh sekalian umat Islam disamping bulan Sya‘ban itu sendiri mempunyai kelebihan yang tersendiri seperti Malam Nisfu Sya‘ban.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Confessions of a 'Checher'

Student 1

It was a very longgg day and my mind was struggling to keep up with my surroundings. So I thought, I better go home and bring my work with me.

I packed my things and was about to leave the school compound when I heard one of my students screamed my name and literally flew down the stairs and hugged me who was leaden with two bags full of papers and books.


Suddenly the weariness that I felt moments ago left my body and we were both laughing and jumping happily! Lol. Really, sometimes I forget that I'm supposed to be a teacher! Behave woman!

Student 2

"Cherrr, thank you for everything. Thank you for your support. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!" His face was shining. His eyes were twinkling. His smile was broad and both of his thumbs were pointing upwards. He looked soooo happy that it was contagious! Everyone was smiling happily looking at his happy face! hehe.

Student 3

"Cherrr!! I got a 'D'! Inda plang credit but dulu aku dapat 'U'! So aku happy cherrr!! Thank You!!"

Hmmmm, now, I have a mixed feeling about this one. Hehe.


Yes as you might have guessed, my students' results came out three days ago. Really, it is times like these that make you think those sleepless nights, those long hours you spent marking your students' work, those sweat and tears you shed when preparing their notes and handouts and the sore throat that you felt after speaking on top of your lungs for 3 hours straight, are actually worthwhile. Nothing feels better than knowing that you have made a difference in someone's life - albeit a little.

I can't tell you how many times the idea of walking out of my current profession crossed my mind. Many times, I told myself, I can't do this anymore. Many times, I told myself, thats it! This will be the last time that I'm going to be treated this way. Many manyyyyy times I said to myself, I don't know how to do this, I'm not good at this, this job is not for me and I've failed them!

But looking at those hopeful faces somehow makes me want to push myself. They make me endure those sleepless nights. They make me explore those hidden talents that I never knew I had. They make me truly understand the true meaning of responsibility, perseverance......and also hope.

Sometimes I wonder if my students knew how much impact they've made on me. I've lost count of the number of times when I watched some tv programme and came across a particular scene and thought, " Heyyy, I should tell my students this - it might be useful for their project". Or when I went to the market and saw leaflets of some advertisement and thought "OOhhh, I should use this for teaching tomorrow, it can help them understand this and this ." Orrr when I was reading a particular book and came across some information and thought " Heeyyy, such and such asked me about this yesterday. I must tell her about this tomorrow".

Surely, if someone or a group of people managed to creep into your conscious and subconscious minds THAT often, those people must be very important in your life.

And they are. They truly are.

I mean sure they come and go every year. And many times they do get on my nerves (especially when they don't hand-in their work and come up with some out-of-this-world excuses for it), but still, at the end of the day, I still want them to do well and be a somebody one day.

One of my students wrote an essay on how students and teachers tend to have a 'love-and-hate relationship' with each other. She wrote how the students hate the teachers for giving them lots of homework and how the teachers hate the students for not handing in their homework. But at the end of the day, they still talk to each other, listen to each other and joke around together. I smiled after reading the essay and wrote a note at the bottom: " I don't think I've ever hated my students. Irritated, yes, but hate? Nope. :D" hehe. Oh by the way, her essay was based on this article.

My mom, who was also a teacher, said her teacher once said this: Kerja guru ini bukan kerja setengah hari tapi kerja 24 jam. (A teacher's job is not a half-day job but it's a 24hrs job.)

And I thought, how true.

Back then, I always thought teaching must be one of the easiest jobs in the world. One just need to go into the class, write some sentences on the board, discuss those sentences with the students and once the clock stikes at 12:30, waaa lah! You're done for the day.

But there was one minor detail that I overlooked. A teacher does not teach only one student per day. Most teach about 70-100 students per day. And some even teach different subjects per day. On top of that, some even teach different levels per day. Don't even make me start on our non-teaching duties.

Yep, lets just say that teachers are pretty good at multi-tasking.

Teachers are great actors too. Believe me, your teacher might be smiling happily and laughing along with you but you can never guess what goes on in her mind.

I remember when I first started teaching I came home crying everyday for two weeks. Ok ok i was a cry baby ok. hehe. But hey, teaching 4 classes of hormonal 13-18 year old boys can make any 21 year old a bit distressed you know. :p

So on that one extremely hot day, I just blew it. Never in my life I felt that much anger. The boys did not finish their homework, they didn't copy the notes written on the board, they didn't bother listening to me, some were busy laughing at the back of the class hence drowning my voice, some were busy clicking and comparing their handphones; and some were busy ogling a group of girls walking across the street!

And I thought that's it!

I packed my things, furiously yanked the door and left the class.

Now, in my previous school, one of the rules that all teachers must adhere to is that they should never ever leave their classes unattended.

At that point, I did not care. I just kept on walking and went straight to the washroom and washed my face. It was only my second week of teaching and already I was on the verge of giving up (and insanity!!)!

I was in the washroom for a good ten minutes when suddenly I heard the bell rang. It was time for my next class. I thought noooooooooooo!! Please I can't go. I can't face another 28 hormonal boys for 1 hour and 10 mins!

I washed my face a couple more times, fixed my hijjab and went out of the washroom. I did not immediately enter the class. I walked around here and there, trying to clear my head and hence I was 15 mins late.

When I entered the class, one of the boys said, " Ani jua teacher nahh! Kami cari-cari kita tadi di staffroom. Pikir kami kita lupa atau sakit." ( There you are miss! We were looking for you at the staffroom. We thought you forgot about the class or maybe you were sick."

I just smiled shakily and put my things on the teacher's table. I looked up and saw all 28 boys were looking at me expectantly. They looked ready to learn.

I forced myself to push the image of the boys in my previous class, apologised for being late and immediately proceeded with my lesson. To my surprise the lesson went well! So my day did not end with me trying to eat everyone's head off. hehe.

Hmm this is a rather long post don't you think? hehe. I can go on and on actually. If you are a teacher, you would probably be reminiscing your first few days of teaching right now. If you aren't, well you have a peek of the life of one of the persons your son/daughter/sister/brother or even yourself spend a few hours with each day.

On another note, a colleague, who was also one of my teachers back in high school (hehe!) said this to me the other day: “ Ehhh hari atu cigu tejumpa c *insert x school mate’s name here*, inda ia tagur cigu! Bagitau ia, cigu marah ja” ( Ehhh a few days ago I saw c*insert x school mate’s name here*, she didn’t say anything to me! Tell her I’m very upset).

To the teachers out there, a new week starting tomorrow, a new week full of adventure, ey?


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Iji. Beriji. Biyutipul. <------Geddit? hehe


So far I think this is the most difficult post for me to finish. Its content is quite simple actually but somehow I kept on having a writer’s-block-syndrome for the past three weeks. I sincerely don’t know what made me this post seemed so complicated when actually it is not.


Well just sit back and read on people. :)

One thing that we girls love is beauty products. I had just about every different shade of lipsticks that one could think of. I was such a HUGE fan of Mabelline Watershine. I remember I had this glittery super dark brown lipstick that I loved to use. I thought I looked exotic whenever I used it. Then one day my sister told me I looked scary. Sure enough that was the last day that I touched it. Lol. You know, looking back, I was such a vain girl. Well….maybe I still am but I’d like to think that I’m better now. =P

We girls put too many things onto our face. Toner, moisturiser, sunblock, foundation, concealer, compact powder, pressed powder (I’m not really sure what’s the difference between these two but yea apparently they are different) blusher, highlighter, eye-shadow, eye-liner, lip-liner, lipstick, lip balm, lip gloss oh you can go on really. All in the name of looking ‘naturally pretty’.

Some of us even use super expensive products that can cost up to more than $300 per month (I can just imagine the boys going tsk tsk). Since they are sooo expensive we try to make sure that we don’t waste them. So much so that we wouldn’t pray because doing so would require us to wash our face during ablution which in turn would wash away our expensive toners. Re-applying is never an option. No.Way. Besides, it would take another full hour or so to put on all those different colours onto the face. I mean which one would you choose? Pray and risk looking pale OR miss your prayer and let every girls within 3 miles envy your made up face? Easy, Breezy, Beautiful. Of Course the heart would say the later. Always. Besides, you can always qada later anywayyy.

Yes. I was like that.
If that wasn’t vain, then I don’t know what is.

Back then, during Eid, my friends and I loved ‘konvoy-ing’ and literally would go 'beraya-ing' from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. At that time, it was my first attempt playing around with colours. You know, eye-shadow, blusher and the likes.

The thing is, I was sooo vain and loved my make up so much that I would not pray because I was afraid that doing so would ruin my made up face. I missed both Zuhur and Asar prayers just so that the apples of my cheeks would stay ‘rosy’.

Astaghfirullah. Astaghfirullah. Astaghfirullah!

Just thinking about it makes me feel….URGH….I can’t even begin to describe it.

Alhamdulillah Allah gave me Hidayah and shed some light on this super silly behaviour.

Looking back, I can’t believe how easily the syaitans sweet talked me into missing my prayers. I can just imagine them telling me: “Pssttt don’t pray. What’s the point of spending hours in front of the mirror, putting on your make up and then washing it off? Waste of time, waste of energy, waste of makeup and hence waste of money! Bida tu bida inda be make up ahhh. Kawan-kawanmu semua bemakeup. Kau nganya pucat. Qada saja karang bah.”

Annoyed ku ehhhhhh.

I feel soooo silly that I willingly missed my prayers because of my make ups or toners or whatever other beauty products that I used. It’s like volunteering myself to go to Jahannam as long as I was able to hold on to my mascara! Nauzubillah! Astaghfirullah!


My dear sisters, please let me discuss this matter with all of you out there. But before I do, let me just say this, if what I am going to say after this applies to you, please don’t go thinking that I am trying to mock you or anything. I believe there are so many of us out there, myself included, who justify ourselves for not praying using some very lame excuses. The funny thing is we actually convinced ourselves that our reasons for not praying are acceptable! Below are some examples of the excuses that I can think of at the moment that we girls use to miss our prayers:

1) Payah jua tu cuci mua lagi. Aku lagi be cream muka apa. (It’s difficult as I have to wash my face. There goes my moisturiser)

2) Payah bah. Nada jamban bisai kan bekaut. (It’s difficult because there are no proper washrooms for me to wudhu).

3) Takut ku ehh kan ke surau seorang. (I’m afraid to be alone in the surau.)

4) Ahhh badanku bepaluh. Bagas ku sports tadi. (Ahh I’m all sweaty, I was doing some sports just now.)

5) Payah bah. Mesti betelkong. Laki-laki sanang, baju biasa atu pun bulih sembahyang. Bini-bini ani mesti betelkong. (It’s difficult as I need to wear a telkong for praying. It’s easier for men as they can just pray in their everyday clothes.)

Excuses. Excuses. Excuses.

Somehow those excuses sounded really reasonable when they were in our heads to the point of we actually felt guiltless for purposely missing our prayers. But try reading them again ukhtis, do you still find them reasonable, now that they are in writing? Can you see how nonsensical they are? Don’t you think behind those excuses was just plain laziness on our part??

Our facial creams can’t help us enter Jannah. Please, it really is OK to wash them off! We won’t be wrinkly overnight just because our pores are empty of those magical chemicals for half an hour. (Really, I'm talking to myself here!) It really bothers me that some of us love our moisturisers too much (hopefully not more than our love for the Almighty). Believe me the benefits from our wudhu will surpass any facial lotions…even SKII!!

No clean washrooms? Well, ikhtiar and find one. I’m sure there should be at least one clean washroom somewhere. We are lucky that we have masjids everywhere in the country and most commercial buildings have prayer rooms as well – with decent washrooms.

Scared to go to the surau alone? Well just ask someone to accompany you. Bring your friends along and pray together.

Too sweaty to pray? Well, it’s true that we need to be clean when we pray. Well why don’t you just simply start your sports activities after praying e.g after Asr prayer and stop just before maghrib?

No telkong? Ahhhhh let me share with you this conversation that I had with my brother a while back. A slap in the face I tell you.

Me: It’s easy for men to simply stop by any masjid and pray. It is difficult for us women.
Bro: Why difficult?
Me: Coz sometimes there are no telkongs in the masjid.
Bro: Why can’t you just pray in the clothes you were wearing?
Me: Coz can still see my aurah.
Bro: Exactly
Me: Huh?
Bro: When you pray you need to cover all parts of the body except for the face and the hands. Women’s aurah is all parts of the body except for the face and the hands. In other word, you should be able to immediately pray in the clothes that you were wearing. But since you said you couldn't, it means that you still have not covered your aurah.
Me: *Ouch*

I told you it was a slap in the face. I think that was also my brother’s way of telling me that my clothes at that time were a bit too tight.

My dear sisters, we all should be ashamed of ourselves. Surely Allah makes praying 5 times per day compulsory to help us remember Him as He knows how weak we are. Some of us purposely miss Zuhr prayer to go out for lunch with friends! How unthankful can we be, eating the rezk given by Allah but yet we forget to remember him? Allah Ar- Raheem on the other hand, continues to love us and provides us with those delicious food that we shamelessly eat while forgetting Him.

We display our anger whenever the unbelievers mock the name of Allah but yet we miss our prayers and neglect a lot of our duties as a Muslim.

"Missing Salah (Prayers) is the only distinction between a (believing) slave and Kufr (Disbelief)". (Muslim)

“Perbezaan antara kafir dan orang mukmin itu adalah meninggalkan solat.” (Muslim)

So if we missed our prayers, we are amongst them, the Kufr! Nauzubillah!

Muslimins and Muslimahs, lets us truly act like a Muslim. We should first start by performing all our obligatory Salahs and try to perfect them. If we have missed some prayers in the pass, we should repent now, Qada as much as possible, for Allah is the most Forgiving and Merciful.

“O My servants who have wronged against their souls! Do not despair of the mercy of Allah. For Allah forgives all sins; for He is indeed Forgiving, Compassionate.” (Az-Zumur: 53).

"Wahai hamba-hambaKu yang telah melampaui batas terhadap diri mereka sendiri (dengan perbuatan-perbuatan maksiat), janganlah kamu berputus asa dari rahmat Allah, kerana sesungguhnya Allah mengampunkan segala dosa; sesungguhnya Dia lah jua Yang Maha Pengampun, lagi Maha Mengasihani.

Lets act now everyone, for we never know when our last breath is nor do we know when the Hour is. Lets taubah now while we still can. By Allah, looking back, I've done many things that I should't have and I've missed many many salahs. My only hope is that Almighty Allah will forgive me.

May Allah guide us all to truth and keep us and those around us on the straight path. Amin