Friday, 1 October 2010

My Journey to Motherhood (Part 3)

At first, I though of writing something about siblings-rivalry for this part.. but I could not put my heart & mind in place, probably due to many distractions at home... I then realized that I'm now in the final week of confinement, how fast the time has moved, indeed! These few final days before 44th remind me of own experience when having my Affan and unforgettable events during months of expecting his arrival; which marked the turning point into the present fate of our family. Truly.. as Allah says in the holy Quran.. "..they have made their plans; while Allah has also made His.. verily, Allah is the Best Planner!.."


When I looked back .. my life was like a very fast spinning wheel starting the day when I received my LL.B degree, that I felt no time for myself what more to reflect things happening to my life. Starting with adapting with working environment upon joining the Kulliyyah on March 14th, 2001.. then with additional responsibility as a wife on May 27th, 2001.. when Abang planned to pursue his Master in UK in October, the Dean strongly signified his expectation on me to pursue ph.D at the same time. So, I tried to make myself prepared for this in 3 months time.. a very short time to prepare for this very long journey.. within this limit, I forced myself to study & look for research-able area, prepare the proposal, apply for scholarship, search & contact few potential supervisors, register for TOEFL, attend research method course in UKM; while at the same time teaching 4 sections in the Kulliyyah. Imagine how depressed my life was!

Winter 2004
  On September 25th, 2001, we left for Loughborough, UK where we had a great life ahead for another 4 years. Abang registered as a full-time student for Msc in Islamic Economics, Banking & Finance; while me as a full-time advocate housewife cum research assistant! I was supposed to register my ph.D at Manchester University in April 2002, that is about 2 1/2 hours journey by car from lboro; but I had to defer it coz of my pregnancy. Later, JPA had blacklisted Manchester, so I had to secure other places. During my confinement period after delivering little Ammar, to my relief, I was offered as the first ph.D student in Islamic Banking & Finance under the twinning programme between Loughborough University & Markfield Institute of Higher Education. So, that's how both me & Abang ended doing ph.D at the same time & in the same school, alhamdulillah.. After 3 years of hard work, we finally completed our responsibilities on time without applying for any extension. Few friends did suggest to us to have such extension, looking at how hectic our lives had been.. our focus was mainly doing research to the extent we didn't have time to visit beautiful  Scotland which is just 2 hrs journey to the North! But, knowing Abang, he hardly changes his plan.. what more to take unnecessary relief.. (unless during darurah!) that's one of many reasons I struggled to complete my research by end of the allocated study leave.

Completed study leave 2005

At home in Malaysia, our time was fully occupied with teaching, research, training & consultancy.. I realized that ph.D is not the end but rather a beginning to endless struggle. For us, the new title is no more than another Amanah by Allah to continuously serve in His cause. We completely happy serving the Kulliyyah as educators and researchers in the area we love most. Having been endlessly hunger for more knowledge, I decided to make 'a U-turn' in my study, completing the LL.B (Shariah) which I was supposed to finish it 6 years before. In December 2006, I registered as a full-time undergraduate student undertaking 12 Shari'ah courses in 2 semesters. Fortunately, the Kulliyyah reduced my teaching load to only 6 hrs; so I became an ordinary student in the morning attending lectures from 8am till 1pm, and then at 2-5 in the evening, back to my routine giving lectures to my students. Despite of hectic schedule, I admittedly enjoyed & cherished each moment as student. I recalled the moment when we had group discussions in the library, classrooms & even in the Mahallah; also active discussions and presentations during tutorials with our dear lecturers like Us. Yaacob Ismail, Dato' Mohd Salleh, Dr. Said Bouheraoua, Dato' Hashim Yahya, Dr Badruddin, Dr. Muhd Naim, and Dr Zulkifli. My heartiest thanks to all my classmates who have made me feel belonged to the group & made the journey a successful one, alhamdulillah... During this study period, I was again expecting for the 3rd child which will be due in January the following year. I became more energetic & highly in spirit and can't wait to finish my study and then receive the new addition to the family.


6-mths pregnant (Sept. 2007)

After 11 months of hard work, I was finally going to complete my LL.B(Shari'ah).. I still remember, it was Sunday, November 18th 2007 where I was on my way to sit for the final paper -- Legal Text II (Mughni Al-Muhtaj) by Dato' Hashim Yahya. As usual, my Abang become the loyal listener to my revision while he drove to the university. I was 8 months pregnant at that time. I said to him that I can't wait to complete the study and then focus to our research. We laid down many plans, like producing more journal articles, writing books, presenting in the conferences, applying for more research grants and everything within our capabilities to excel in our carrier. Somehow, Allah the All-Knowing has other plan for us...

That evening, I invited my LL.B(S) classmates & few close friends to a 'small kenduri' at home. After Maghrib, papa called Abang asking him to come over to his house because DSAM was about to visit the family that nite. Feeling exhausted, Abang initially refused and was going to bed early. Then, at about 9.30pm papa called again; Abang mumbled, "Hai.. malasnyer nk pegi jumpa mlm2 mcm ni."... I said to Abang, "Pergi la kejap... mungkin papa nak Abang teman dia borak2 dgn tetamu kot..." Reluctantly, Abang left for papa's house which is only few blocks away. When the clock struck 1am, while Abang was not home yet, I began to wonder.. Only at 2.00am, Abang appeared before the door & looked puzzled with mixed feelings.. my instinct made me asking curiously whether he was asked to do something difficult... Abg helplessly said that DSAM asked him to contest in the next GE! Astaghfirullahal 'Azim... I could feel my heart stop beating!! Of course, Abang turned the request down realizing of the political scenario during that time; either way, the path is of no certainty.. what more, that was not in our plan at all; at least for the first 10 years in the future!!

Since that day, we didn't hear about DSAM. We continued our lives as usual. Abang was fully occupied with his Microfinance project with Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia which required him & his team (Dr Norma & Dr Jarita) to travel to selected rural places like Bagan Datoh, Perak & Tumpat, Kelantan; while my research team (Dr Rusni, Dr Uzaimah, Dr Fuad Sawari & Dr Akhtarzaite) were working on the Shari'ah advisory project. Somehow, I knew that Abang was not at peace & felt divided... because since that day, he performed istikharah continuously, asking for guidance, help & forgiveness from Allah the All-Mighty. Often, when we were together, stucked in the traffic jam in  LDP.. he would talk about few possibilities that could happen in our future.. I tried not to listen to him, reminding him about our plans that need to be worked out together... I remembered him once saying.."If we looked back to Allah's bounties to our family, we won't be able to count it.. Allah has made ease to us in many ways.. we should always be grateful to Him & accept any of His test with an open heart. We cannot be selfish, complacent & thinking about ourselves in many ways.. so one way to evident our gratitude(shukr) to Him is to serve others in good cause.. maybe if I am destined to be involved in politics, this may be a way for us to contribute to the society directly!"... but I tended to disagree, "There are so many other ways to contribute to the ummah; what we are doing now, educating students is also our direct contribution to the future of ummah!" .. while my heart saying that there must be other ways, not in politics please.. at least not now, I am not ready & our family is still growing...


After a long pause, Abang continued, "I love what I'm doing now; educating young generations, doing research, training the practitioners, writing my thoughts in papers & journals, presenting my ideas in conferences.. Yes, being an academician is very peaceful for me & gives us satisfactions; we are surrounded by many intellectual people who are honest & sincere to us.. but in politics, if so destined by Allah, the path is very thorny ... for we are going to be surrounded by people whose hearts and minds are not predictable; exposed to fitnah & negative perceptions even among our own friends; more people will hate than those loving us.. our hearts must be as strong as an iron steel for it's going to be a very very difficult  life  ... somehow, the satisfaction of working & contributing directly to the people in the place I love most is truly beyond words ..! Hearing these words, my heart cried & cannot any longer deny one fact.. that is.. 'politics' is in Abang's blood & I have to accept & be with him all along if Allah wanted us so.

Affan (Day 1)
By the passing of time, I tended to forget of the previous days & eagerly waited for the new arrival. Our dear 'Affan was born on Friday, January, 18th 2008 at 4.47am. It was the shortest labor experience.. the contractions started at 3.30am which I did't believe initially that I was in labor until I realized it became more regular & shorter. I thought of waiting for Subuh prayer coz feeling sorry for Abang who seemed deeply asleep. Somehow, my breathing way of relieving the pain woke him up. In a double-quick time, he was ready & insisted to go to the hospital immediately. Upon arriving at the hospital & then checked by the nurse on-duty at 4.15am, she nervously said that it's over 8cm already! I was directly moved to the labor room; my gynie arrived at 4.30am.. then shortly later Affan was safely delivered, alhamdulillah.. We were discharged on the same day.

For the 1st 2 weeks, I has my confinement in PJ, then flew back to KB with Ammar, Affaf & Aan. My mother looked after me very well. Everyday, as early as 7am she would pick Makcik, the best 'tukang urut & tungku' up from Kedai Piah and send her home at 12.30pm. My daily routine started with suppressing milk for the baby, then washing up with  'air rebusan daun2' like pandan, serai wangi, limau purut etc. which really resfreshing. After light breakfast, I had the 'berurut & bertungku' for nearly 4 hrs. Finally, by lunchtime Makcik will help me wearing 'bengkung' which will only be taken off on the following morning. During weekend, Abang would be with us.. hmm, not really because he was occupied with the Amanah Ikhtiar research project which happened to be in Tumpat during my confinement. I had a good confinement care until day 35... I recalled the moment where I was on 'berurut', Abang who had just arrived from KL, whispered to me saying that he became a parliamentary candidate!! I was very shocked & hardly heard him saying that he had to go to DSAM's house for the official announcement. After that, many things went very quick & unplanned like in a dream.... Abang tendered 24-hrs resignation on that very day; his classes were handed over to Bro. Mustafa & Us. Zaharuddin whom Abang was very grateful to, Abang also had to forget his promotion to DS54; and I had to cancel all arrangements with Makcik & moved to Kubang Batang on the same day too. My in-laws in PJ came to support us incl. our sis. Farah Alwani who was also in confinement. They brought my stuffs like presentable baju kurung, jubah & tudung because I only had necessary attires for confinement only!

I could not recall the date, I just remember that the nomination was on my 38th confinement day. Since then, I had to participate in the campaign because of Abang's time-constraint while the area is very wide with over 90k voters. It was impossible for Abang to go to all places. Our aim at that time was mainly to introduce Abang.. so, I went to one place, while Papa & Mi to other different places. My parents also came over to help me out with the kids whom I hardly be around them in that 2 weeks time. Even Abang was only home for 1-2 hours just to change attires. I remember my campaign speech was like giving 'ceramah' or 'usrah'.. I just be myself.. I'm an educator, teacher, da'i & murabbi! In my prayers, relentlessly I asked for Allah's guidance; if we are able to carry out this amanah, then please make ease for us.. but if this is only a test while we re not ready as yet.. then please make us among those who are patient & redha.... during my tour, I was brought to every inch of the place & got surprised by the level of poverty among the people here. Deep inside, I felt.. oh Allah, I think I am not ready yet.. the responsibility would be very big.. & I still have this tiny 'selfishness' inside for myself & not ready to give up my life for this huge Amanah... indeed, Allah knows the best for us.. as He said, "Allah will not impose any obligation on a soul unless within his capabilities.." So, we accepted Allah's will & wisdom with an open heart, alhamdulillah.

I returned to my normal routines without Abang around at the Kulliyyah, even I was all alone stucked in the traffic jam. Abang was unemployed for 3 months though there were offers from some learning institutions but he declined. For him, once he's into politics, it's unethical to mix it with academic. Only in June, he joined the present research intitution which was established on March, 26th... where he seems really fit into; doing research in the same area with added advantages of wider networking & research opportunities. Lives began to settle down bit by bit..

Few months after the confinement, I felt the edge side of both feet swallown that it's like walking with 2 big stones on it; but not as painful as the swallown urat keting before. My feet became badly strained, particularly in early morning. I went for foot massage numbers of time; though the pain was gradually healed, but my feet are often strained & cramped until today. All 'tukang urut' incl. Mak Ton who looked after me in the present confinement said, it was due to the long travelling & walking I had during the campaign period where I was about to complete the confinement. The 'urat' in both feet become like a stretchable rubber band which hardly return to its original condition... oh dear..!

My Affan 2 yrs (2010)
So, that's a piece of my experience during conceiving my Affan & its aftermath... anybody who knows Affan would agree that he is a terrific & colourful boy, who is very cheeky,talkative, intelligent, matured, and loving too.. he will not keep his feelings to himself, rather express it all to those close to him. Yet, he seems shy & timid before strangers. All that are explained by different colours of our lives that we faced before.. despite the pain & gloomy in our hearts, we will not lose our hope to Allah, coz we shall always search for the sunshine .. and hoping that Allah will always guide us in undertaking His tests & bless us in both worlds..amin!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

My Journey to Motherhood (Part 2)

September, 25th ... exactly on the same day 5 year ago, we spent our last few hours in lboro, UK after 4 years of memorable stay. We were going home.. yes, home to our family where we belong to.. if only our family is in UK, we won't leave this very meaningful place!! We could feel the sadness & loss in the air, seeing those faces of our dear friends & kids whom we love most. Truly, this place & its people had a very special space in our heart. We have learned a lot about many things from here.. Also, I was in 28th day of confinement after delivering little 'Affaf. Alhamdulillah, we brought four 'ole2' for our family; 2 ph.D & 2 adorable kids!

During my final year in ph.D, I became confident to finish this journey on time, that is by end of September 2005. At this stage, all necessary data had been obtained & analysed. Just need to be properly presented in few more chapters while the earlier ones mostly the literature reviews are almost done. Abang was almost completing his.. If I was in his shoes, with tremendous data & findings, continuous flow of ideas,  plus an extraordinary gift in expressing things into words, I would burn the candles all night to get the unfinished business done! That was in fact our deal.. he went off completing his ph.D with fullest speed & promised that he will assist me in completing mine..  So I slow down in my writing up & gave more room to Abang. With Allah's will, during this crucial time, I was pregnant again which will be due in August!This means that I had double deadlines; PHD & BABY at the same time. Previous pregnancy history made me extra cautious in self-care; meaning that no hard work & no stress physically, mentally & emotionally which are almost impossible to be avoided.. I left everything to Allah..for He is the All-Greatest Planner.. whether I realized or not I was in my best pregnancy condition. Every morning 6-9am, I pushed heavy trolley & cleaned the badminton complex all alone. Yes, I was a 'floor engineer' where I learned a lot about the cleaning skills, hehe! THis has been the prevailing career among students since our scholarship are not really enough to cover some necessities. In my case, I would say that I was not categorized as 'darurat' to work because Abang is a superb financial planner who managed monthly flow very efficiently.. every month must balance! I guess that has been the most favorite words among Accounting graduates!!

My supervisor & Abang's internal examiner: Prof John Presley & family
Dr Humayon Dar: Abang's supervisor & my internal examiner
In early 2005, Abang had practically completed his thesis.. as agreed he passed the baton to me for the final race with fullest speed. If people asked me, when is the most beautiful moment you spent with your other half.. that very time would be my answer.. just imagine that we were almost going to reach the end of a very long journey which we could see the finishing line in front of us.. we were like holding hands, working in a team & with a high spirit to complete the race! I was 6 months pregnant by then.. I applied for early maternity leave (the leave is 6 months in UK) so that I could focus in completing my research. I worked non-stop from dawn till dusk even during weekends; while Abang managed other household tasks like washing up & feeding Ammar, getting him to school, cooking, cleaning d house, laundry, garbage, packing, shopping and even going to carboot!! Sometime, I miss seeing my Abang doing all these chores again, hehe!

Affaf: 1 yr (2006)
Each time when I looked at Affaf, I am not surprised by her character- strong, matured, intelligent, focuss but very sensitive & sometimes grumpy a bit.. for she grew inside me along with my ph.D progress. Despite finishing my main task as student, I took the time again to study my condition & prepared for any possibility in labor. I was very careful in food-taking, fearing that the baby will be too big for a normal birth, though chances to undergo C-sec again is not impossible. My focus in work also affected my appetite. That's why Affaf was only 2.8kg during birth!


By end of July, I had completed the writing up & finally submitted the thesis on August, 8th.. the same day where Abang had his ph.D viva. ALhamdullilah, his hard work pays off when he successfully defended his thesis without any correction. After that, our main focus were packing our stuffs to go home for good & preparing for the birth. 3 weeks later, I still remember.. it was Sunday, we went to our favorite shopping place i.e. Quorn carboot where we spent more time & money than usual buying toys in particular. That nite, we packed again till 1am. At 2am I felt the contraction becoming more regular & closer between the intervals. At first, I was hesitated to wake Abang up, but my breathing somehow woke him up. We called Olin to stay with Ammar & dashed to Queens Medical Centre at Nottingham. The journey took about 20 minutes & Abang kept on reminding me to recite Salawat Tafrijiah & address 'Ya 'Azim' repeatedly between the contractions. Upon reaching the hospital & placed in the labor room, the nurse on-duty who was aware of my previous labor history put me under antibiotic to ensure I was clear from Grade-B Stripe (GBS) infection before the labor this time. Abang was all there by my side, reciting Al-Quran and supporting me with everything that he could. When I struggled to push, I could feel that he was pushing too, coz he pushed my head really hard, hehe! Even the doctor said to him, "wow, you are pushing as well!". Finally, little Affaf was born at 8.20 am on 29th August 2005. Alhamdulillah, she was clear from GBS & looks very fair with pink lips.


I was discharged a day later & had my confinement at home. Abang cooked for me everyday while I handled the tiny baby by myself. I had a good confinement care for the first 2 weeks only. 'Good' for me at that time means less movement, no climbing stairs, healthy food-taking & enough rest. Of course during that time, no berurut, bertungku & berbengkung. We were very busy getting our stuffs ready for shipping. We had about 150 boxes of books and few other boxes full with toys. 13 days after the delivery, I had my viva & passed with minor correction. I was determined to do the correction and submit the final thesis before going home. Again, I stayed up to finish the task while feeding little Affaf all nite. During this time, I felt healthy & energetic, unlike during the first delivery by C-Sec. I also started doing other household chores like cooking, cleaning the house, washing toilets, mopping the kitchen, brushing sinks & stoves! We got all our stuffs into the container by ''gotong royong' with the Malay community members on September 23rd.. and we left lboro 2 days later..

At home in Malaysia, we stayed at my parents-in-law's for few months before moved to our present home. We were fullly occupied with work & trying to settle down, unpacking the stuffs from the boxes. That didn't include trying to adapt with 'culture-shocks' like hot weather, driving style, working routines, administration efficiency, money value etc. What I could say is.. the time at that moment moved very fast.. we could feel wide differences from our lives in UK, yet we tried to survive with it. Few months later, I felt very bad pain in upper part of my leg. The pain became worse especially early in the morning to the extend I had to crawl to the toilet coz I could not stand up properly otherwise, the pain became unbearable. When we went to my hometown in KB during 'Idulaha (5 months after the birth), I went for berurut & bertungku and was told that my 'urat keting' were swollen badly & took time to heal. This was due to my 'heavy' routine during the confinement. After few sessions of berurut & bertungku I felt much better, alhamdulillah.

From this experience, I realized that;
1) Delivery by C-Sect requires extra care in order to heal the external & internal wound. Its pain would require us to have the rest needed. The body is weak usually for 6 months & generally, we will feel completely healthy after a year.
2) Normal delivery usually causes pain for few days only; generally after 2 weeks, we will feel very healthy. But internally, we are not fit as yet. Still we need to undergo the normal regime of confinement till end for a complete recovery.
3) Our body is like processor which needs to undergo extra care, service & maintenance especially after a very hard work from a labor. If we can spend to maintain other property like car, house or machines, whatmore to invest in ensuring that our body stay healthy.

Wallahu A'lam.

Friday, 24 September 2010

My Journey to Motherhood (Part 1)

Azzah: fresh from d 'oven'
Today, I am still in confinement after delivering little 'Azzah 32 days ago. To my surprise, I didn't count the remaining days of it, yet I enjoy every second of it for it is full with many new adventures featured by everybody important in my life; especially the little one, the eldest, the second, the third and most importantly my eternal soul mate, Abang... When I look back to the time when I first expected a newcomer to our sacred life, I have indeed encountered with countless ups & downs which give me priceless lessons..

Ammar: few hrs after delivery
In August nine years ago, I had the first experience of pregnancy. Due to my hectic life which was trying to adapt to new working & marriage life, I was too busy to study my own condition, what more to take care of myself physically & emotionally. As a result, on 17th September which was 1 week before we left for UK, I had a miscarriage. I kept my sorrow to myself & continued my life as usual, preparing for the long journey abroad. I followed all 'pantang' dos & donts for 2 months even I was alone (except my Abang) in UK. ALhamdulillah, Allah blessed us with a second pregnancy soon after that. This time, I studied about 'what to expect' from raising a child but overlooked on 'how to take care of yourself' during confinement. I learned about baby's progress, preparation for labor, going to parent-craft classes, feeding a child & many more relating to raising up a healthy & balanced child. Then, during 39th week of pregnancy, after days in labor room, I had safely given birth to little 'Ammar at 6.06am on 21st August 2002. My Abang was all along with me reciting Al-Quran into my ears esp during the operation. Yes, I had an emergency cesarean due certain reasons. Again, this was not expected at all & I was totally zero in understanding this situation. I felt a failure as a woman at first..

To worsen the condition, I had a bad experience in the hospital. Since it is a government hospital, spouses are not allowed to stay over night. So, there I was.. left alone in a ward shared by 3 other new mothers.. alone with a baby who kept staying awake throughout nite.. alone with the pain in my abdomen.. alone being scolded by a nurse (for keeping on  calling her for an assistance with d baby & pain). My ignorance of 'what to expect' from such condition added to my emotional stress. I was determined to get myself discharged after the 2nd nite.

Ammar: 3 mths
At home, I studied about my condition from both theory & others' experiences. I felt a relief knowing that I'm not alone in this; in fact many those very close to me experienced the same. Alhamdulillah, the Malay community in lboro was very helpful. For the first 2 weeks, they send foods to us 'on gotong-royong', of course the one who enjoyed mostly from it was my Abang! My main meal were only grilled mackerel (some friends cooked grilled haruan bought from chinese store!) & fresh carrot. Both me & Abang were thrilled with this new parenthood challenge. When I recalled the moment, it was one of the most difficult time for us; Abang was struggling to complete his Masters dissertation, while at the same time we were ordered by the Government to come home for good coz Abang was seen as a threat to the national security!! As a result, Abang's scholarship was stopped for months. I tried to be seen strong before Abang & then burst into tears in the toilet! Then, I was reminded to always ask for Allah's guidance & help. Being in the confinement should not hinder us from zikrullah & pray to Allah in heart. Alhamdulillah, when my mother came few days later & my mum-in-law a month after that, both had assisted me a lot in taking care of me & baby ang giving us emotional support that we needed most. She brought 'pati ikan haruan', 'barut' & other stuffs necessary for confinement. I somehow learned that I cannot go thru normal routine like berurut, bertungku & barut perut! The pain & effects from the operation which last for 6 months made me more believe in those myths...

Somehow, I was proud that 'Ammar grows up as a healthy child who had all our attention on him, alhamdulillah. We witnessed his development  most of the time. I managed to fully breastfeed him until he was ready to stop by himself. He also had 100% healthy & home-made meal with 'air tangan ummi for the first 3 years'.. the reason why he only eats healthy food like nasi, plain water, vegetables, ulaman & fruits.. and not into unhealthy stuffs.. that's probably explained by his  extra ordinary attachment & possessiveness towards me!

After years, I learned from this experience that:
1) I must be prepared for all possibilities- normal birth or cesarean.
2) How to take care of yourself during confinement  (for either normal or cesarean birth)& not expecting others incl. our mother to do so.
3) Berpantang during the first confinement is the most important for your health & getting you to better shape easier.
4) Berbengkung 24-7 is a MUST (though cessarean) at least for the first 28 days coz our internal & external body are still 'soft' & shapeable. Ideally for 100 days!
5) Communicate ur feeling to ur spouse, even the smallest matter.. so that he understand ur feelings, your pain & ur hope. Don't expect him to become a mindreader because he is also new to fatherhood & also struggling to adapt with it.
6) Good financial planning; start saving & investing for ur confinement care. Yes, you must spend within means but allocate more budget for confinement, taking into account things like medicines, hiring good 'tukang urut & tungku', healthy foods etc.
7) Always zikrullah & pray to Allah so that we will always feel peace in heart & become less stressful with any unexpected things during the confinement.

Wallahu A'lam..

Ammar: 5 mths
Thotful & Caring Ammar

Friday, 30 July 2010

USRAH WAFA 300710- Tafsir Al-Kahfi

Assalamu'alaikum..

InsyaAllah, this week we shall complete our tafsir of surah Al-Kahfi with the story of Zul-Qarnain (ayah 83-110). It's about a man who has been selected by Allah to have extra-ordinary faith, goodness & strength. He used these gifts in good causes & went against all kinds of evil (example, against cruel rulers) during his time. So, our discussion will include:

1) Introduction to know who is Zul-Qarnain
2) An Example of good Ruler who always seeks the truth & do good deeds.
3) A ruler/leader's important trait- having high level of knowledge & understanding
4) The facts that Western civilisation is against the belief in God/Allah as the Creator
5) Materialistic Civilisation - the peak & effects
6) Opposite traits - Dajjal having features of giving misleading knowledge leading to kufr & mischief among people
7) Effects & Influences of Dajjal in the Society & our daily lives
8) Conflict of values due to our limited knowledge & tendency of getting influenced by Dajjal
9) The needs to have continuous knowledgem reminder & guidance from Allah, Prophet's teaching & wisdom.

So, hope that everyone can make it for today coz, this wld be probably the last tafsir Quran before my confinement later. During the next usrah (which may be in 2 weeks time & during Ramadhan), we shall have tafsir hadith which will be informed later, insyaAllah.

See u soon!

Friday, 23 July 2010

USRAH WAFA 230710 Tafsir Al-Kahfi

Assalamu'alaikum to All my dearest WAFA sisters!

It has been almost 5 months since our last usrah. I pray that you had fruitful semester 3 & wonderful 3 months break.. Now, while I'm 5 weeks away from the baby's due, I can't wait to meet all of u again to share, discuss & understand the hikmah behind one of important surah, i.e. Al-Kahfi. We have covered the story about Ashabul Kahfi & Owners of 2 gardens.

For this week, we shall continue with a story about Prophet Musa & Khidir (ayah 60-82). Among the contents wld include:
1) How Prophet Musa was ordered by Allah to find Khidir
2) Khidir's weird actions which caused Musa to inquire him continously
3) Occasionally, the TRUTH seems very strange esp. when people's values are corrupted & under crisis.
4) Human's knowledge are very limited, coz only Allah is All-Knowing
5) A challenge to materialistic thought.

So, please come & join the discussion to be scheduled at 12-1pm. You can bring any Tafsir together with Al-Nadwi's book. Hope WAFA exco will let us know the venue very soon. Usually it's at IRK class next to d mosque. See you soon!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

What A Great Nine Blissful Years..

Once upon a time, there was a young girl who asked Allah in every prayers...
... for His blessings..
... for His forgiveness...
... for His guidance...
... and for His Jannah...

.. while... deep inside she has this hope that she will soon meet her Creator with a holy title as a man's wife..then she began to ask again...

Oh Allah... if I'm deserved to carry out your amanah as a wife & mother.... please let me have a man...
.. who's always seeking Your pleasure..
.. who will always strive in Your cause..
.. whom I will always love & respect with all my heart...
.. who will be a father with qudwah hasanah to my future young ones ... and..
.. who will guide me & hold my hands to Your Jannah...

Ten years later...
.. Allah has answered her prayers...
.. He even has bestowed upon her more than what she has asked for... because..
.. by this sacred bond.. she now has for her entire life...
.. a man of her dream..
.. loving parents of her man..
.. five wonderful sisters whom she always dream for, and of course a younger sweet brother..

And now.. after a great nine blissful years together...
.. She feels blessed and happy...
.. and will always pray that Allah shall forever..
.. shower His blessings to her dearest man & family..
.. forgive & guide them in future endeavors..

Happy Anniversary, Abang...
Thank you.. for a wonderful nine years..
Thank you.. for reminding me of how special this day is to you..
Thank you.. for loving & accepting me the way I am..

Love from you wife who's waiting for your coming home..
Favorite pic during bersanding


Saturday, 15 May 2010

Special Wish on My Abang's Birthday...

Remembering your birthday this year, Abang... I thought of making the best dinner ever or invited your love ones & friends... but your tight schedule could not fit in... I also have no fancy card for you.. what more expensive gift... coz I know you will appreciate more than the usual jazzy... .. So, this is my gift for you.. A WISH & PRAYER specially from the depth of my heart..

Oh Allah.. from the moment You created my Abang, You has named me in one of his destinies...I'm truly blessed because You has chosen Abang as my eternal soulmate...
.. who completes me in every way...
... who makes me become better person each day...
... who makes me inspired to struggle in Your cause
... for my abang always say that Allah has blessed us in many ways.. so it's always timely to evident our 'shukr' by serving others in all the possible ways ... of course the journey to His Jannah is very thorny in deed.. but don't ever lose our hope on Him...

And.. I'm deeply thankful.. for Allah has blessed me with both Papa & Mi who have brought my Abang into this world and made him a person he is now... my Abang has been always your pride .. and now he is my Amanah... to continue your dream in making him steadfast in the path of da'wah...

And.. I'm sincerely thankful... for Allah has blessed me with Ayah & Mak who relentlessly guide me through every stage of my life & make me a wife who deserves my Abang...

Above all.. I'm thankful.. for Allah has blessed me with the most precious gift that makes me realize a true love.. My love & hope to You, oh Allah becomes stronger because of my Abang's love, which always demands more ..
... patience... sacrifice... understanding & respect .. and wise...

Oh Allah... please guide & protect my Abang in his undertakings... and bless him in his endeavors..

Happy Birthday to you, Abang... May Allah bless you with happiness & tranquility always..

Love from your wife.
with Ammar, Affaf & Affan for mini celebration during lunch time (evening tea to be exact coz it was at 4pm b4 Abang rushed to d airport)

Friday, 5 March 2010

Usrah WAFA 05032010

afsir Hadith 35: Brotherhood & Rights of Muslim

Why I choose this hadith 4 discussion this week?

We would like to recall again the Prophet's reminder to us on the importance of unity & Muslim brotherhood that can be asily blinded with other worldly affairs. In the present days, I often feel worried & horrified with many conflicts among Muslims esp. in Malaysia. In many situations, Muslim brotherhood is often put aside because of conflicting opinions & extreme bondage (ta'asub) with particular belief or groups. Sometimes, when we r pursuing some things that are considered as fardu kifayah or sunnah, we tend to take this brotherhood bondage for granted which is waajib. The saddest is that it may cause hatred among Muslims & they start to accuse & associate their own brothers with many unthinkable labels, wal'iyazubillah!

So, to my fellow brothers, sisters & students.. let's muhasabah ourselves on this holy Friday.. so that we can purify our faith, belief, perception & love towards fellow Muslim brothers...For we all are going to be together in the next world, answerable before Allah.. and ultimately may enter Jannah together with His blessings! Amin...

The Hadith 35:

Abu Hurairah, radiyallahu 'anhu, reported that the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, said:

"Do not be envious of one another; do not artificially inflate prices against one another; do not hate one another; do not shun one another; and do not undercut one another in business transactions; and be as fellow-brothers and servants of Allah.

A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He neither oppresses him nor humiliates him nor looks down upon him. Piety is here - and he pointed to his chest three times. It is evil enough for a Muslim to hold his brother Muslim in contempt. All things of a Muslim are inviolable for another Muslim: his blood, his property and his honour."

[Muslim]

background

Unity is one of the greatest objectives of Islam. There are many verses in the Qur'an that urge Muslims to unite. In Surah al-'Imran, Ayah 103, Allah says:

And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah (which is Islam) and be not divided among yourselves.

This is a very well-known verse to Muslims. In Surah al-Taubah, Ayah 71, Allah says:

The believing men and women are 'awliya' (loyal) to one another.

There are many other verses in the Qur'an that urge joining unity, as well as verses that forbid disunity. We can see this in the same Surah al-'Imran, Ayah 103, in which Allah says:

….and be not divided among yourselves.

So in the same verse the Muslims are asked to be united and prevented from disunity. The Qur'an contains many such verses, for example: Surah al-'Imran Ayah 105-107; Surah al-Hujurat Ayah 10; Surah al-An'am Ayah 153 and 159; and in Surah al-Rum Ayah 31-32. All of these verses and many others in the Qur'an forbid the division or split of the Muslim community.

Moreover, we have many hadiths that command the Muslims to be united. One hadith is recorded by Imam Muslim: "Verily Allah likes three things for you and disapproves three things for you: He is pleased with you but you worship Him and disassociate anything with him; that you hold fast to the Rope of Allah and not to be scattered (disunited); and He disapproves for you irrelevant talk, persistent questioning, and wasting of wealth."

We find that Islam commands the Muslims to practice things that will bring unity - there are conditions and actions where the Muslims need to perform to accomplish this. At the same time, we also find that there are many actions that Islam forbids because these actions may lead to the disunity of the Muslim ummah. This Hadith 35 falls in the latter category.

lessons

The first action that the hadith forbids is envy (al-hasad). Muslim scholars like Imam Ghazali and others define envy as disliking to see a person receiving a bounty and wishing that he or she (the receipient) would lose it.

Ibn Rajab gives a different and broader definition. He states in his definition that it is part of human nature that a person dislikes anyone to be better than him in virtues. He says that people differ in their attitudes and he lists five categories of envy that people have:

1. There are some people who will make the effort through action or speech to abolish the bounty received by someone whom they envy.

2. There are others who will then try to get that bounty transferred to them. So they firstly try to take it away from the person they envy and then they try to get it for themselves. For instance, if a certain person is offered a certain position or authority, the envious one will try to do something by hand or by speech to take away that position or authority from that person. Then he will try to get that status or position transferred to himself.

3. There are some people who do not make any effort by action or speech to harm the one whom they envy. Ibn Rajab says this category of people can be of two types:

1. The one who does his best to eliminate the feeling of envy within himself but he cannot overcome it. In spite of this, he keeps fighting and struggling against it. Ibn Rajab says this type of person is excused from punishment.

2. The one who thinks about envy and practices it again and again. He does not make any effort to fight it even though he does not do any harm by action or speech. But he actually enjoys and practices envy - he wishes that the bounty of the envied one will be lost. Consequently, this person is subject to punishment.

4. There are those who, whenever they envy someone, do not harm him or her. They do not even wish the loss of the bounty from the envied one. Instead, they make the effort to attain a similar bounty or virtue for themselves. Ibn Rajab says: "If this bounty is wordly virtues or worldly bounties, there is no benefit in that." For example, if you see someone who has a Mercedes, and you try to attain a similar car for yourself, then there is no benefit in that. But if it is a righteous virtue, then it is good.

5. There are some people who, whenever they feel envy, do their best to stop it and they will do a favour or something good for the person whom they envied. In addition, they will also make du'a for that person until they love him - because envy is usually associated with hatred. They will wish that the envied ones are better than them - they do not bother themselves if others have things which are better than what they have. Ibn Rajab says these people are the best category of true believers since everyone is subject to indulge or be trapped by envy or being envious of others.

Why is envy (hasad) forbidden?

It can cause - by the permission of Allah - harm to others whom are envied. Consequently, they are considered as evil acts in Islam. They can cause - even by just wishing - the harming of a person. It is the virtue of Shaitan. And it is also the virtue of Jews to envy other people. This is mentioned in Surah al-Baqarah, Ayah 109 and in Surah al-Nisa', Ayah 54.

The Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, warned Muslims against envy when he said "Creeping upon you is the diseases of those people before you: envy and hatred. And hatred is the thing that shapes. I do not say it shapes the hair but it shapes the religion. By the One in whose Hand is my soul, you will not enter paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Certainly, let me inform you of that which may establish such things: spread the greetings and peace among yourselves." [Recorded by Imam Ahmad and Al-Tirmidhi]

Since this is a harmful act, Muslims are asked to recite certain Qur'anic verses such as Surah al-Falaq, Surah an-Nas, and Surah al-Ikhlas to protect from envious people. According to the Muslim scholars, it would be preferable to recite them after the five prayers along with Ayat-ul-Kursi.

Al-Tanajush is translated literary as "do not artificially inflate the prices against one another". Najash that is mentioned in this hadith can be interpreted, according to Ibn Rajab, in two ways:

1. It can be interpreted as bai' al-najash - the trading where a person offers a high price for a certain item not for the sake of buying it but for the sake of raising the price of the item so that in the end it is sold for more than its actual price/worth. This is usually done, even in the Muslim world today, by a previous agreement by the salesman and another person or relative who pretends that he wants to buy. This is done in the stock market or auctions where there is a person who keeps bidding higher prices for an item. He is doing a favour for the person who wants to sell. This is considered as bai' al-najash. The majority of Muslim jurists (fuqaha) say it is valid. However, they say that if the buyer finds that he has been manipulated in a way where the price exceeded drastically over the actual price, then he has the choice of returning the item.

2. The second interpretation of najash is a broader one, more than merely limiting it to trading. Ibn Rajab says here it means any kind of deceiving actions that will lead to harming others. He adds that all dealings that are conducted in a deceiving way are included here. He quotes Surah Fatir, Ayah 43 : "That the evil plot encompasses only him who makes it."

Ibn Rajab says that this hadith is a warning to Muslims not to hate one another, especially if it is because of self-interest. Why? Because Muslims are brothers in Islam. They should love each other and should not hate one another. Consequently, al-nameemah, backbiting and slander are forbidden because they will lead to hatred among the Muslim community. Ibn Rajab says that when the Muslims started dividing into different sects because of conflicting views regarding certain religious matters, this led to disputes and hatred among the community, and thus disunity.

We should not turn our backs on one another. Ibn Rajab says this means any form of disassociation. He says that the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, said the Muslim is not allowed to disassociate himself from the others for more than three days. This is, as Ibn Rajab points out, in worldly matters. Whereas in the religious matters, disassociation is one of the punishments that Islam allows - e.g. to disassociate with those who commit sins in order to teach them a lesson. But scholars say that if the person who commits the sin is not likely to come back to the right path, then it is meaningless to disassociate with him. As one of the scholars pointed out, if the objectives of Islam are not fulfilled then disassociation is meaningless.

We should not undercut one another in business transactions. For example, if someone is trying to buy something from a salesman, in the middle of their negotiations another salesman appears and interferes and tries to get that customer to buy his product/service instead. This kind of transaction is forbidden because the customer has yet to make his final decision - it will lead to the disunity of the Muslim community.

The Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, asks us to be brothers to one another. Ibn Rajab says this is like justifying the actions that are mentioned by the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, because these evil acts will lead to spoiling the brotherhood of the Muslims. If Muslims avoid these evil acts, then this will lead them to be brothers. Moreover, Ibn Rajab says this statement implies that Muslims have to make the effort to do whatever that will lead to achieving this brotherhood. This means fulfilling all the obligations towards Muslims, for example like returning the greetings, visiting the sick, helping the needy, accepting invitations, sending presents, shaking hands, and smiling.

Then the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, says the Muslim is the brother of another Muslim. Ibn Rajab explains about this statement: "It is now obligatory for each brother that he tries to benefit his Muslim brother and to refrain from harming them." He adds that the major harm is oppression and injustice. If a Muslim is in need of your support and you fail to support or help him, this is unjust. There are many places in the Muslim world where the Muslims are in great need of help. They are being oppressed and nobody supports them. Accordingly, if we are not doing anything to help them, we are failing our Muslim brothers. We need to be united to solve the problems that we are facing today. Our main concern should be the unity of the ummah. A contemporary scholar, Abdurrahman Al-S'adi, says that one of the greatest forms of jihad is to make an effort to unite the Muslims. He states that cooperation among Muslims is an obligation.

We should not lie to our Muslim brothers. We should also refrain ourselves from belittling or making fun of other Muslims. We should not make signals or gestures that threaten the face value of our Muslim brothers. We should take care not to be cynical to others and not to undermine other Muslims.

The Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, says taqwa is in the heart. Ibn Rajab comments on this statement saying it is evidence that the most noble among people are the ones who are righteous even if they are not lucky in the sight of other people. If they are righteous, they are the most noble in the sight of Allah.

It can be said that all that has been mentioned in this hadith has to do with the heart: loving Muslims, and not to envy them. When we have taqwa in our hearts, we will not do the forbidden acts mentioned - our hearts will be purified and filled with love.

conclusion

"All things of a Muslim are inviolable for another Muslim: his blood, his property, and his honour." This important last statement, which was mentioned by the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, in his farewell sermon (hajat alwadaa'), concludes or summarises what this hadith is about. This hadith clearly states that harming others either by saying or doing is considered an evil act. Allah says:

And those who annoy believing men and women undeservedly, they bear on themselves the crime of slander and plain sin.
[Surah al-Ahzab: Ayah 58]

Allah made the believers as brothers so that they have mercy upon one another; so that they love one another; so that they help one another and support one another. This is how Muslims should be.

Reference: http://fortyhadith.iiu.edu.my/hadith35.htm

Friday, 5 February 2010

Usrah WAFA - Tafsir Surah Al-Kahfi on Friday, February 5, 2010 at 10:35am

referring to Tafsir Ibnu Kathir Jil 5 & a book by Abul Hasan Ali An-Nadwi. Why I choose this surah for discussion this week?

1) Surah AL-Kahfi is among highly recommended surah to be studied & practiced as a shield against fitnah al-Dajjal as narrated by many authentic hadiths (of course without neglecting the rest of the surahs in Quran)

2) When I studied this surah, I found that there are basically 4 stories in it, aiming at the same objective, i.e. the importance of Iman & trust in Allah which sometimes can be easily blinded by many deceitful material wordly things which are propagated by so-called Dajjal. The stories are about:
(a) Ashabul Kahfi & Al-Raqim
(b) Owners of 2 Plantations
(c) Prophet Musa & Khaidir
(d) Zul Qarnain

3) The Surah seems to have a close observation onto Jews & Christians: who were they & are now?

4) This Surah was revealed during the peak of torture by Mushrikin that The Muslims nearly believed that they had no hope for survival. So, this surah served as a reminder & soothe their heart, believing that Allah is All-Knowing who will definitely award a victorious end to His believers.

Wallahu A'laam...