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Archive for June, 2007

I am 33

I turned 33 yesterday, 18th June 2007.

I suddenly feel so old…

After waking up at 4.00 a.m. in the morning as I usually do on work days, I suddenly felt so tired. Exhausted. I felt like I needed some rest. After much thought, I decided to take the day off. My kids were extremely happy when they woke up. Kakak asked me, ‘If you are on leave, why are you dressed so nicely?’ Adik simply couldn’t stop hugging me. Those words and gestures were the most precious birthday presents I could ever receive!

Anyway, as my husband was on the night shift, we decided to take the kids out for lunch at McDonalds. My husband bought me a VCD that I have been looking for the past few months. The title? Well, it is something that I want to keep to myself (mengada-ngada aje!). But when we got home, I had a bigger surprise. My parents came all the way from their home (which is basically about 10 minutes away from mine) to send me a birthday cake. It was a chocolate birthday cake, with a big “Happy Birthday” on it. I cried!

Turning 33 made me realize that I still have a lot of dreams that I want to fulfill in life. And I pray that Allah gives me the strength and guidance to move forward in life…

Happy Birthday to Me!

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RADHA

I had to attend a meeting in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Instead of driving, I decided to take the public transport hoping that I could get some rest. My twins have been quite challenging to manage this past few days and driving would create another headache for me. A three-hour bus ride would provide me with sufficient time to rest.

I brought along with me ‘Relevankah Aku Di Hatimu (RADHA)’ which essentially means Am I Relevant to You written by a new author, Rynsa. I bought this book during the recent Kuala Lumpur International Book Fair but since I have been busy with my ICSA examinations, I had kept it safely in my bag. Anyway, I just couldn’t stop reading the book. I managed to finish half of the book on my way to KL, and completed the rest on my way home.. with some occasional naps in between, of course.

The book brought me many bitter sweet memories. It reminded me a lot about the place where I had spent pursuing my undergraduate degree, Melbourne. The most liveable city in the world. No, the story had nothing to do with Melbourne, it was all about Japan, but the involvement of the main characters in Islamic organizations was what brought tears to my eyes. During my student days, I was quite active in Islamic activities. Every term break, gatherings or camps were organized. Summer Camp, Winter Camp, Spring Camp.. you name it. Most of us had our schedules planned around this activities. Weekdays and nights were filled with lectures, tutorials and revisions. Weekends were reserved for Islamic activities – usrahs, study circles, visits, picnics. Not even a single hour was put to waste. By the time I became a senior, I started to lead usrah groups. I had so much time to do all kinds of things. Those were experiences I would treasure for the rest of my life. It gave my life a lot of meaning.

But things have been different ever since I returned home. I am very, extremely inactive in doing Islamic activities which I really enjoy doing – learning new things, discussing with fellow friends, arguing on current issues… Although right now, I am trying to get myself more active by becoming involved in the activities at my workplace. And after reading the book, my earlier belief – that by having a partner that has the same ‘fikrah’ or understanding is a strong factor – is re-emphasized. Of course, my other half is a devoted Muslim, but he is not into Islamic activities very much – maybe due to lack of exposure, lack of experience and lack of friends. The ‘right environment’ is lacking. But I still have this hope that things would change one day. And I will keep praying that Allah will show us the light… Ameen.

And I guess, it does reflect on me as well. I have to keep improving myself, improving my iman to Him… Because afterall, Allah has said in the Holy Quran in Surah Al Baqarah, verse 187 on husbands and wives… “..they are your garments and you are their garments….”

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The recent Federal Court decision on Lina Joy came as a relief to many Malaysian muslims. It may seem harsh to those who do not understand the concept of freedom of religion in Islam, but it was the best decision. However, I still wish someone could talk to Lina Joy about it. Of course, she is no longer a Muslim but I wish she could see the beauty of Islam as other “reverts” see it.

It is really funny though. Everywhere around the world, more and more people are coming to Islam – there are even rumours of Michael Jackson turning to Islam. When I was in Australia, I used to attend sessions at the mosque (or Islamic Center in Melbourne City) where people say their syahadah. The most memorable session was when a couple (I think it was in 1995) said their syahadah in front of the imam and about another 100 witnesses. The wife just couldn’t stop crying. Before she said her syahadah, I remember her asking the imam if all her previous sins would be cancelled off and if she would be like a newborn baby upon reciting the syahadah. When the imam nodded and answered yes to her questions, she cried and cried and actually made everyone else in the room cry! Subhanallah.

But then again, there are still many Muslims fighting to leave the religion. I know of one person in Melbourne (I met her in 1993) who left Islam because when she first arrive Melbourne, no Muslims were around to help her! Nauzubillah. I don’t know what happened to her after she left university, but I hope she remained a Muslim. I guess it all boils down to your inner self. If you care about the religion, you make time to understand the philosophy and reasons behind it all, and if there is the desire to practice life-long learning, you will never stop learning about the religion! Ya Allah.. Ya Ar Rahman.. Ya Ar Rahim.. Guide us all to the right path… Ameen.

Anyway, I have been travelling for the past 2 weeks. First to Colmar Tropicale at Bukit Tinggi Pahang for a workshop. Since my parents were too lazy to go and my husband couldn’t take time off work, I brought my sister-in-law with me. It was quite a good trip. We managed to try (for the first time!) the sauna. And guess what? I love it. My mum even offered me her sauna set that she received as a gift. I just couldn’t resist it. But since I am too tight up now with my coming examinations, I decided to take it later. Then right after Bukit Tinggi, I had to attend another workshop. This time at a new place in Taiping called Kamalodge. It was SUPERB! It had such a nice surrounding. Cosy. Sweet and Simple. And the pool – my kids spent almost every minute there! And finally, a seminar in Johor. My husband was kind enough to take 3 days off to come with me – without the kids – so it was like another honeymoon for us. It was such a long ride though, almost 8 hours! Such boredom – although Johor Bahru was a nice place.

My exams are coming soon. I hope to survive these next few days. Pray for me.

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