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Archive for June, 2009

Remembering Mikaeel

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It has been more than 2 days since Michael Jackson left this world to return to his Creator.

 

Apparently Farah Fawcett also passed away the same day, but the hype is not as huge as Michael’s.

 

Initially, I did not have the intention to blog or comment about Michael’s death, but I just could not help it. Especially when I think about how much his music made a difference in my life. Yes, I used to be a big fan of MJ. I must have been between 10 to 12 years old at that time, and Michael was like THE most popular guy on earth. Everyone at school had a crush on him, including me. We used to talk about him all the time, especially during break. I think I must have memorized all his songs back then – “Beat It”, ‘Thriller”, “Ben”… you name it!

In the 1980s, MJ used to appear on the local newspapers and magazines almost every other day. I recall collecting all his stories and then, I would keep them safely in old chocolate boxes (you know, those Cadbury boxes). There could have been more than 5 boxes of paper cuttings if I remember correctly – and all contained his stories (of course, I had some of Jamal Abdillah too I think)! Mak and Abah would always get angry at me everytime I open one of the boxes, because I would look at his pictures over and over again. I remember Mak telling one of my aunties, “Agaknya dia nak rebus semua tu dan minum airnya!” J

Anyway, I grew older and wiser, and my ‘infatuation’ just died down over the years.

Nevertheless, I do read about him once in a while. Despite all the allegations about him being a child molester, he still had loyal fans from all over the world. And despite the fact that people call him Wacko Jacko (for being ‘different’ from others), he still produced great songs. Who could forget how “We Are the World”, “Man In the Mirror” and “Heal the World” brought tears to our eyes? 

The latest news I read about him was his conversion to Islam in November 2008 after learning about the religion from his brother Jermaine. I hope he sincerely believed in Allah, and I hope that he actually said the syahadah… and I pray that he died as a Muslim.

Michael Joseph Jackson @ Mikaeel… you will be remembered as an extraordinary performer.

PS: I have received an irresistible offer – but I am still thinking about it!

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Report Cards

How do I convince a six-year-old that it is okay to NOT to do too well in the exams?

 

Yesterday was the Report Card’s day. I went quite early, at about 7.45 a.m. (preschool starts at 8.00). The elder twin was so much tensed compared to the younger twin. She kept holding my hand all the time.

 

And, as I had expected, the younger twin did slightly better than the elder twin. Adik, although a bit more mischievous than Kakak, is more careful than Kakak in her work. Adik was 2nd in the class, whilst kakak got 6th place – out of 35 students (which I think is excellent already). The difference in marks was not too big – only about 30. But, what got me reallly worried was that according to the teacher, kakak was quite tensed during the exam. Apparently, she cried during one of the papers, because she forgot what was taught.

 

When kakak found out she did worse off than the adik, her eyes were brimming with tears. My heart simply broke! I hugged her, and told her that it is okay and that she did well. Adik was at that time already jumping happily.

 

But I had to leave for work, so I gave them both a hug again, congratulated them, and then left.

 

Last night, I tried to console her again, telling her that it is okay and that she did well, and that I would still love her no matter what.

 

But she refused to believe me. And she cried to sleep. In my arms.

 

I am really worried. She is only 6 years old. I need to find out how to make her feel more relaxed about the whole thing. Afterall, life is definitely NOT about exams because it is the knowledge and the application of that knowledge that are most important!

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I spent the weekend cleaning up the mess in my study.

 

Anyway, I stumbled upon a book which brings a lot of memories to me: “Apa Ertinya Saya Menganut Islam” or To Be A Muslim. This book was written by an Islamic scholar, a mujahid, Ustaz Dr. Fathi Yakan. Why do I say it brings a lot of memories? Because when I started to learn more about Islam at the age of 19, this book became a main reference to me. At that time, I just completed my university foundation at Taylor’s College Melbourne, and was struggling to learn more about the religion. Yes, I was a Muslim at that time, but I was just a Muslim… not a really practicing Muslim. I did all the wajibs (although there were many misses) but that was it. When I was introduced to this book by Brother Rahim and Sister Asfa, my whole perspective of the religion changed. This is one book that made a lot of difference in my life.

fathi_yakan fathiyakanbook

 

Sadly, I was informed by a friend of mine that Ustaz Dr. Fathi Yakan had passed away on Saturday afternoon, 13 June 2009 in Lebanon.

 

Fathi Yakan was such a famous mujahid, and one of the key activists in the Islamic movement in the 1950s. He wrote so many books about Islam and da’wah and changed the lives of so many people with his books – including me.

 

Also, this coming 23rd June, is another sad day for PAS activitists all over the country. This 23rd June will be exactly seven years that our beloved leader, Ustaz Fadzil Noor has left us to be with Allah. His legacy, i.e. transforming PAS into what it is now, will live on forever insya Allah. I think about him so much now, especially when PAS is currently facing a crisis (well, that is what the media tells us – but our leaders say otherwise) because Ustaz Fadzil Noor would always know what to say, or what to do, and his words would usually make all of us calmer.

 

USt+Fadzil+Noor

 

May Allah bless their souls, shower them with forgiveness and rahmah, and may Allah grant them jannah for all their efforts in bringing Islam to where it should be.

 

 Al Fatihah.

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I turned 35 on Thursday, 18 June 2009.

 

Thank you abah and mak for bringing me into this world 35 years ago…

May Allah grant you jannah for being such wonderful parents…

 

Anyway,

Thank you Kak Sam for the nice birthday cake…

Thank you friends (office mates and FB friends) for the well wishes… 

Thank you abah and mak for another nice birthday cake (gemuk lagi lah anak mak ni…)

Thank you big brother and sis-in-law for the gift…

Thank you abang for the unconditional love…

Thank you kakak and adik for the cute birthday cards…

 

All praises are due to Allah the Most Merciful…

 

Someone said to me, “Look to the brighter aspects of your life before looking at the dark side… and you will surely be happy.”

I will, insya Allah.

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Makrifat Cinta

I finally managed to complete reading the Makrifat Cinta trilogy last week.

 

Although I bought the first book Syahadat Cinta last year, I had to refrain myself from reading it after realizing that it was a trilogy but the other two books were not yet released back then. During the KL International Book Fair this year, I bought the other two books, Musafir Cinta and Makrifat Cinta, to complete the trilogy.

 

taufiqurrahman 1

 

I got so hooked up on the three books that I completed reading them over 2 days. Really, I wish I could finish my literature review at the same speed!

 

Anyway, the trilogy focuses on Iqbal Maulana, a young and rich lad from the city of Jakarta. The setting is almost typical – anak tunggal, banyak duit, unIslamic lifestyle. Iqbal was determined to change into a better person after he unintentionally caused injury to his mom. And that was when the spiritual journey of Iqbal Maulana began. He started out as a person who did not even know how to perform solat or read the Quran, but he ended up as an Imam and a Huffaz!

 

I think the first two books are more spiritually fulfilling compared to the third though. Syahadat Cinta and Musafir Cinta concentrated more on Iqbal’s journey into becoming a true Muslim, but Makrifat Cinta is more about his journey on choosing the right partner. Regardless, these three books provided me with a different kind of motivation that I don’t get from reading other books. The plot is interesting and the words are touching – to the extent that I sometimes get goosebumps!  

 

One important take home point for me – everything begins with your intention. If you have a good intention, and you are really, really sincere, Allah will make it easy for you!

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Milky Marble Cake

marblecake

 

Recipe from Chef Norzailina. You can also get it here. Kek ini habis dalam masa 1 hari! The kids loved it!

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This programme was organized by AllAboutCommunique (a training and public relations company set-up by two of my friends) and was held on Wednesday 10 June 2009 at Hillcity Hotel, Ipoh. It was the kids’ first experience – and I think it is the first of its kind ever being organized in Ipoh. The price was also reasonable considering the food, venue and all the other goodies the kids brought home with them. 

 ActiveKidz1

 

They had a number of activities – Kidz@ctive (ice-breaking), KidzCre@tive (created Father’s Day cards), KidzS@fe (cara-cara nak jaga diri), KidzG@mes, KidzS@ve (they brought in a representative from Tabung Haji), KidzT@lent thru Drama (nak buat zoo, tapi ended up with jungle!), and finally Person@l Grooming and Table Manners.

 

ActiveKidz2

 

I took the day off (in fact, I am on leave until end of the week) to be with them – I had fun watching them having fun! Until this day, my kids are still talking about it!

 

Kudos to the team – Yasmin, Azlan, Rayhana, Aida and Ogy. (Nanti buat lagi bulan December!)

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