Monday, September 25, 2017

Raison d'etre | Ikagi | Mon 25

Bismillah.

What are your reasons for being?
What's my ikagi?
That's Japanese for raison d'etre.

Now at this age of mine, it has become clearer to me that our reasons for being should be:
- to know Allah (yes know first, must know Who is it that we worship)
- to worship Allah
- to have a spiritual connection with the Beloved of Allah salallah alaihi wasalam
- to make others happy (especially your mother)
- to be useful to as many people as possible

Another meaningful birthday of mine spent with 50 would-be huffaz boys.
Their prayers are priceless!
Ameen.
They are my neighbors in Penang/my regular guests on special occasions.
They had recently moved to another neighborhood.
It's a pleasure visiting them at their new/bigger/safer abode.
Alhamdulillah after 2 years of waiting, they got a better home, at last.
With Arash (9 years old).


Pizza party. The joy of delighting my honorable friends
is all mine : )
Tahfiz administrators are particular about their students' food intake.
Certain types of food/fast-foods are not allowed.
So be sure to check prior to hosting/throwing a surprise party
for them.

I was beyond pleased, to be able to share not one birthday cake
but 9! Alhamdulillah indeed.
What more can you ask for when you have confidence in:
Al Razak, Al Rahman, Al Karim
Al Mughni, Al Mujib, Al Wahab, Al Nafi and Al Basit.
He glory is Allah who backs us up all the time.
Just to mark this special day
and register my gratitude
for Allah's bounties all these years



One of the recommended things to do during this blessed month of Muharram is to put our hands on the head of an orphan for blessings and pray so that Allah grants us a gentle heart.
Have you done it?
I have! Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.

Thank God for a very fruitful day.
Let us all remind ourselves constantly of our ikagi.
[And treat ourselves to grilled unagi sometimes LOL]
: D

p/s
Gosh, I just learned something new.
Unagi is also a term meaning = complete awareness.
In karate, when you have achieved unagi, it means you can defend and prepare yourself for any danger at any given moment.

Let us pray for unagi concerning our lower nafs. So that we could defend our iman (faith) and fight all negative externalities that could jeopardize it.
Ameen.

p/s
Another reason why today is special.
Got news that I'm gonna be given a promotion : D
Allah Kareeeeeeeeem!

Thank you all for all the good vibes (du'a) you sent me!
You know who you are - my genuine readers/visitors!
I love you!



Saturday, September 23, 2017

Fab times | Labor

Bismillah.

  .

"The real secret to a fabulous life
is to live imperfectly 
with greaaaat delight."

Yes, let's embrace our imperfections and forgive ourselves cos as the wise men say:
"When I said 'I forgive you' to myself,
everything got better."

Alhamdulillah for fab times.

p/s
One who reads a chapter of Quran a day deserves to be granted loads of gifts from the Divine and the mortals (as instruments of the Divine), of course.
: D

Yes, read as much as we could, consistently cos:
"The miracle of the seed and the soil
is not available by affirmation;
it is only available by labor."

p/s
Nieces/nephews: 
You may follow the good side of this woman 
and leave the bad for the Batman.
LOL

Friday, September 22, 2017

Happy New HIJRI Year - 1439

Bismillah.

Assalamualaikum warahmatullah.



I picked up this line from the year-end du'a. Thought it's profound. But pardon me, I don't know how to write in Arabic (yet). Nonetheless, it's a joy crafting the poster for me and you.

May Allah pardon all our bad deeds
and accept all the good ones.
May Allah grant us substantial tawfiq for the new year
and grant us bigger bounties that He has ever given.
May He sever not our constant hopes
for His succor and mercy.

Ameen.
***

: )
May we smile more this new year.
May we remain strong in our Quran marathon.
May our tongue and heart whisper continually,
greetings of peace for the Beloved of Allah salallah alaihi wasalam.

Yours sincerely,
E.Ismail


A little tired but happy to drive to Penang right after Subuh
and arrived when some people were still in bed lol
Best wishes for the new hijri year
to all Lisan al-Din friends
: )

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Intention

Bismillah.

May Allah help us purify our intentions.
May He keep them purified.

I had a strong urge to start this blog when I fell in love with the name/term Lisan al-Din. Felt compelled to do something about it when I read about it being a short-lived weekly publication. I thought a name so sweet should stay active. Hence, this space which does not do justice to the original Lisan al-Din publication started by Shaykh Ahmad bin Mustafa al-Alawi in 1912. More importantly, I was sincere in my intention made in 2009.

Needless to say, I came across all kinds of people and experiences through this space. I evolved, progressed, reversed, walked, paused, fell, got up, crawled, advanced (plus all other verbs lol), but most of all, learned. I picked up some good lessons from the behaviors of the pleasant and genuine visitors/readers, bystanders, uninvited "judges", distractors, impersonators, including the mischief makers.

Anyway, this apt quote I found on Twitter by @InspowerMinds serves as a good reminder to us all:
"The biggest mistake we make is thinking life is all about our dreams and desires. We forget that God's Will always comes first."

So, do what you want, say what you want, think what you want, God's Will always comes first.

Today is the last day of 1438 Hijri. Alhamdulillah for everything that took place in the past one year. I am hopeful that 1439 Hijri will be an awesome year full of great bounties. Let's make some more good intentions and follow through with good deeds.

May Allah grant us greater tawfiq and plenty of success. Aameen.

Says Dr. Wayne Dyer

Our Prophet salallah alaihi wasalam says:
"Actions are dependent upon their intentions. Every man shall have that which he intended."


#niatlahyangbaikbaikdanjangankacauoranglol


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Stay in the right race | Fastabiqul khairat | Be a stranger

Bismillah.

Are you in the race still?

Race to do good deeds which will carry weight in the eyes of Allah. We must be careful not to partake in the wrong race, though.

YaHu...I am feeling a little upbeat and feeling good about being a stranger - doing 'strange' things that are out of the current popular definition of mainstream.

There's a hadith about the deen which started as a strange thing and will eventually go back to being a strange thing again. Perhaps it's time to compete on becoming "strangers" doing strange things of a good kind. May Allah grant us hidayah and tawfik.

Fastabiqul khairat [from my experience of maintaining this blog for almost 10 years now] is one of the most frequently looked-up phrases.

Here's a translation of fastabiqul khairat in verse 2:148 of the Quran, by Abdullah Yusuf Ali:
"...then strive together (as in a race) towards all that is good."
And Mufti Muhammad Taqi Uthmani translates it like this:
"Strive, then, to excel each other in good deeds. "

So, let's strive. Striving for all things good, can only bring forth one thing - value.


- Says Einstein.
[Contemplating, post-gym sesh last Sunday,
 I felt like I got a tawfik-boost thus continued with my Quran-marathon
Alhamdulillah.]

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Take 1 step | Walk | Life Fitness

Bismillah.



It can get a little bit suffocating when you want to get back on the right track. Nowadays, there are many self-appointed ustaz/ustazah, haram-policeman/policewoman and some cracko holier-than-thou personalities who would make you feel discouraged or disillusioned.

I think people have a spiritual crisis every once in a while. Well, maybe not the self-righteous bunch. I remembered when I was in my late 20s and early 30s when I was going through a difficult patch in life, and feeling lost, I got two books which helped save me. One book on Asmaul Husna and one book on Hadith Qudsi. And that one hadith qudsi as quoted in the above poster was like key to the padlock. 

Those days, I did not have access to religious talks because there were not many. There were no Islamic Youtube channels either. What I am trying to say is that for those who may be in a spiritual crisis right now, who want to seek solace, perhaps they should just focus on two things for a start, like I did. I am speaking from experience, it worked for me decades ago and it still works for me now bi-iznillah.

Oh perhaps three things to focus on, not two.

1. Learn to appreciate the meanings of Asmaul Husna and call upon selected Names which are appropriate to your situation. Call upon His Names, they are indeed beautiful and they work like magic. Miracles do happen through His Names.

2. Just hang on to that hadith qudsi, take one step and feel good knowing that He will take 10 steps towards you. Just walk, because as someone who might have been spiritually/mentally/emotionally injured, we cannot run, so let's just walk according to our own pace and stamina. But rejoice, Allah will RUN towards us! On the contrary, people, when we open up to them, they immediately start keeping records, judging and give all kinds of advice which may not be fitting with our illness. If you really must open up to someone, be sure he/she is a person of integrity. If you are a single lady and kinda attractive, be careful, cos some of the ustaz/shuyukh might woo you into marrying them. Of course, the choice is yours, it's entirely up to you. And those people to whom we confide in, though they might "walk" towards us in response to our cries, they can't run, they are not going to run because they have got their own issues too. But Allah is saying He will run towards us. Performing one solat is like taking just one step and Allah says with one step, He will reciprocate with 10 steps. He is giving us the best offer in return, which nobody else could. So just make one step at a time and walk. Sedentary occupation is a no-no. Walk.

3. I would add a third piece of advice now - which is salawat. Alhamdulillah for the tawfik from Allah. Salawat, decades ago, used to be a strange thing to me. It's a relationship and a consciousness that can only be developed through time with shafaat from his (salallah alaihi wasalam) family - the habaib, I think. I am not trying to preach here but I am just trying to relate my experiences. And this is something I wish I could easily impress upon my nieces and nephews, but it seems hard. All I can say is that I feel alive now after having awareness on salawat. I feel like I was never alive before until I became attached to making salawat and that it has become a pleasant thing to do. Alhamdulillah. But then again, if you still haven't gotten the hang of it, it's ok, just remember to take ONE step and walk and believe that He will reciprocate.

I pray with much sincerity that anyone who is looking for some kind of help will find the help they needed. I myself need help, I am walking.

You know that machine in the above poster, it's called Life Fitness. I think all we need to do in life to stay fit physically and spiritually - is to walk. The gym where I took the photo, it's got a great view of KL urban landscape and somewhere in the distance, there is a Muslim cemetery. It's like telling people at the gym, yes you are walking/running towards the grave. With each step, you are getting closer.

May Allah grant us hidayah and tawfik to keep walking. To get up and walk again every time we fall.
Aameen.

Monday, September 18, 2017

I am Stirling, yes!

Bismillah.

Pic credit: Daniel Porter
Stir Uni Open Day 16 Sep 2017

Einstein says:
"Education is what remains
after one has forgotten
what one has learned in school."

Stirling education stays evergreen and refreshing to my mind and spirit. The Uni will turn 50, come November 2017. I am one proud alumnus of the U of S.

[SJSU California - sorry, I liked you, but I liked Stirling more. LOL]


Eleven years ago at Stirling.
Wearing a distinct red dress my mother bought in Dubai,
cos I graduated with a distinction : )
Alhamdulillah

Stirling memories throwback.
Err...how come I look prettier now in my 40s?
LOL

May we have a sterling silver-ish week.
It's week #38.


 One delighted alumnus