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

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Dunya - only in the hands

Bismillah.




Praise be to Allah for this beautiful creation I captured yesterday during Maghrib.

May Allah keep plenty of the worldly stuff in our hands.
May Allah keep in our hearts a sense of urgency of the akhirah.

Aameen.

I am loving this weekend : )
Alhamdulillah.


p/s
I know, nice shots eh?
Always : )
Always using Samsung Note, by the way.
I have got an iPhone too, but it's just being used as a spare phone. 'Tis one fact some people can't accept. LOL

Saturday, September 16, 2017

16th September - Happy Malaysia Day

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah to be a Malaysian-born and to have lived and grown in this beautiful country - Malaysia.

Alhamdulillah for the benefits, we have gained from her, for the lessons we learned together, for the simple joy of daily living, breathing its air.

May Allah grant us more wonderful bounties from this blessed land.
Aamin.



Haza min fadhli Rabbi
This, is by the grace of my Lord.


Alhamdulillahi hamdan yuwafi 
ni'amahu wa yukafi u mazidah.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Return to Him | The noble Quran readers

Bismillah.

Malaysians mourn the tragedy that befell students at a tahfiz school in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Twenty-one would-be huffaz boys and two teachers perished when their school caught fire around Subuh.

And so they entered the realm of barzakh on the best of days - yaumul Jumaah. They were Muslims who kept themselves busy with Quran recitals on a daily basis.

What about us?
Will we return to Him as noble people who engage ourselves with the Holy Quran regularly and consistently? Or do we touch the phones and PC keyboards a lot more for deeds that would not help us much in the grave? 

O self, please be reminded and take heed.


Pic credit: Malay Mail Online
Inna lillah wa inna ilai hi rajiun


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Motherly compassion | Great women

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah for my mother.
Alhamdulillah for the opportunity to serve her in my own [small] ways.

Today is one of many special days for her.
I humbly ask you my friends, genuine readers, and sincere-hearted visitors of this blog, to please say a prayer for my mother, one Virgo girl who is always on the go and keeps going strong through the years. Alhamdulillah.

For the degree of gratitude that I have for this blessing, I pray Allah will continue to grant her good health, abundant of provisions, and everlasting happiness in this world and beyond. Aameen.



Some people thought my writings came across as witty.
I think I got it from her.
LOL.

Some people thought I've got a good dress sense.
I think I got it from her.

Someone who is slightly older than me said she should carry a cross-body sling bag now before she gets "too old" for it. I told her, my mother is pushing 80 and she could pull it off pretty stylishly : )

When I was 27, I took her for our first umrah and I remembered there was one incident amidst an uncontrolled crowd, we had left our sandals near Raudhah. I pray we both would get to the real Raudhah to reclaim our placement. Aameen.

Thank you, Allah, for my mother.

***

Today the 14th of September is also a significant day for Muslim women in this region especially, as we witnessed the inauguration of the first [Muslim] woman as the 8th President of Singapore. Madam Halimah Yacob, 63, ventured into politics 16 years ago as Member of Parliament before becoming Singapore's first female Speaker of Parliament from 2013 to 2017. One thing that has impressed many people most is her insistence to remain at her flat instead of moving out to the grand palatial residence reserved for the President. Let's hope more Singaporean women would be as humble as their President, not a snob, but as one who exudes an air of dignity, effortlessly : )


http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/halimah-yacob-sworn-in-as-singapore-s-8th-president-9216250


p/s
Sis Julia: You are one of the few praiseworthy Singaporeans I know : )

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Don't you wait

Bismillah.

Knock knock knocking this on my head.


Let your feelings catch up with you regarding:
  • Spending an hour a day for Quran recital.
  • Sweating it out at the gym daily.
  • Cooking your own healthy meals on most days.
  • Feeding your brain with positive words every minute.
Alhamdulillah if happy feelings already catch up with you in some departments.

Thank you, Allah, for making the tongue nimble for salawat and for the indescribable happiness that comes with it.

Allahumma salli ala Sayyidina Muhammad
solatan tuwas si'u biha 'alainal arzak
wa tuhas sinu biha lanal akhlak
wa 'ala alihi wasohbihi wasallim

: )


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Perjalanan menujuNya | Ya Halim

Bismillah.

Maha Penyantun, Al Halim, itu antara Nama Terindah milikNya. Dan atas rahmat kurniaNya jua ada kala kita diberi rasa dan diberi nampak akan sifatNya yang satu ini, melalui orang-orang di sekeliling kita, juga peristiwa.

Semalam, seorang hamba Allah yang diberi darjat kebesaran di kalangan manusia, bergelar Sultan telah pergi menujuNya. Kuasa mutlak Allah untuk memuliakan sesiapa sahaja hamba pilihanNya. Sejarah menjadi bukti betapa sesetengah daripada kalangan kita diberi peluang luar biasa, melebihi yang lain. Maha suci Allah lebih tahu darjah ketakwaan hambaNya, lalu diberi penghormatan di alam dunia. Maha suci Allah lebih tahu ketinggian santun hambaNya, lalu diberi keutamaan berbanding yang lain.

Hati dan mata yang mengenali keluhuran budi seorang Sultan - yang sering mendahulukan rakyat jelata serta negeri/negara dalam keadaan uzur apatah lagi sihat - hati itu pasti merasa sedih dan mata itu pasti menangisi permergian ruh nan istimewa - Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah (1927-2017).

Memegang tampuk kesultanan negeri Kedah hampir sama waktunya dengan usia kemerdekaan Malaysia. Satu-satunya Raja yang menjadi Yang Dipertuan Agong sebanyak dua kali. Siapa yang mengetahui dan yang mengenali biarpun dari kejauhan, pasti akan mengakui keistimewaan Almarhum Sultan Abdul Halim.

Manusia mati meninggalkan nama. Hanya mereka yang istimewa meninggalkan jasa serta budi yang dikenang penuh kesyukuran. Budi dalam bentuk contoh teladan mahupun secebis kebahagiaan.

Sebagai seorang rakyat biasa, dan sebagai anak kelahiran Pulau Pinang saya bersyukur di atas "buah tangan" istimewa daripada Almarhum, yakni Jambatan Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah yang menghubungkan sekeping tanah yang asalnya milik negeri Kedah jua. Kasih sayang nan luhur pasti saja terus berhubung, berpisah tiada. Kesantunan seorang Raja seumpama baginda Almarhum, akan dikenang sentiasa, tak mungkin hilang di perjalanan masa.

Al Fatihah
Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah
(1927 - 11 September 2017)





     
Wahai Tuhan yang Maha Penyantun
Ya Halim
janganlah Kau uji kami dengan cubaan yang tak tertanggung;
Wahai Tuhan yang Maha Mengetahui
Ya Alim
janganlah Kau murka dengan kami walaupun Kau lebih tahu akan kesalahan kami;
Wahai Tuhan yang Maha Tinggi
Ya Aliy
angkatlah kedudukan kami dengan redhaMu;
Wahai Tuhan yang Maha Agung
Ya Azim
jadikanlah hati kami sentiasa tunduk terhadap kebesaranMu
dengan penuh pengharapan akan kurniaMu.

Aameen.


***
Note to our foreign readers:
The above is a eulogy on the passing of one of the most notable Sultan, Malaysia has ever had.
You may read about His Highness here:
http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/09/11/a-sultan-of-many-interests/
https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2017/09/278689/sultan-abdul-halim-passing-peoples-king


Monday, September 11, 2017

Get rid of busy nothingness

Bismillah.

[This is written on a cloudy Sunday morning.]

Post-gym sesh, I found this quote I needed 30 years ago. LOL. It's by Steve Maraboli.



Yes, when the weather is bad for your brisk-walk routine, hit the gym. If you really must sit down and do nothing, might as well do some meditation (zikir/tafakkur/salawat). LOL.

Or blog - post some random ramblings. It does not matter if people don't appreciate your postings. The point is you exercise your brain neurons, pump up the brain's synaptic connections. It's your brain, not theirs, so never mind them. LOL.

Or cook.
Or read.

Nothingness has no place in the day-to-day living, that's what the experts are saying and of course, we all agree.

Getting enough sleep does not fall in the "nothingness' category of course. It's excessive sleeping that we have to avoid. Else, you can't make yourself useful/beneficial to your-self, let alone others.

OK, this is a reminder to me-self and the young ones in my family.
Keep busy being productive on meaningful things.
Don't just sit idle.

Oh, the next time I am tempted to go idle, I should google the recipe for idli and try making some.
LOL.

Image result for idli indian recipe


Have a great week people. It's week #37 already.


p/s
Amer: Kat mana nak cari Rava Idli yang sedap kat Penang? Yang ada sambai nyok pekat kaw kaw macam dalam gambaq tu. 
Takmau yang plain putih tu boring. 
Little India? Let's. 
My next trip. In shaAllah.


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Written | The Greatest of Writers

Bismillah.

"Be patient.
For what was written for you
was written by the Greatest of Writers."

This hit me hard, that kind of happy hard, you know what I mean?

In my opinion, it beautifully evokes the meaning of sobrun jamil - beautiful patience, a concept which I thought was too strange to be real, something I could never comprehend until I saw the above quote.

When you become truly conscious again, of the fact that it is the Greatest Writer who writes the script of your life, you just crack a smile.
Subhanallah : )

It's something I have to continually remind myself.

Of...
The King.
The Greatest of Writers.
The Smartest Orchestrator.
The Kindest of all.






Credit: IG - Inspirational Islamic Quotes.


Saturday, September 9, 2017

Changing perspective

Bismillah.




So today I decided to take a different path. Change of attitude starts with a change of path, this I realized after sweating it out. LOL.

I often share a cityscape of KL from my balcony. This photo is like giving you the same snapshot of KL, but reverse about a mile back. Not sure if you follow me. LOL.

Alhamdulillah for today. For being healthy enough to go for a brisk walk.



Just trying to psych me up for the life-long marathon.
Just another Saturday rambling.
One beautiful Saturday in September.


p/s
Should anyone (spy-readers) think my photos are too cute to handle, get out of here then. LOL.
And sorry if all you see is the not-so-nice side of me.
But perhaps, you should change the way you look at things.
"Don't let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace."
- Dalai Lama

: D

Friday, September 8, 2017

That special feeling called Friday

Bismillah.



Just enjoy the feeling.
No need to say much.

Feelings...nothing more than feelings...

: )




Thursday, September 7, 2017

Seventh | Forty six | Thirty | Khatam

Bismillah.

Today, the Seventh of September, 2017 is indeed a meaningful day for me.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah. Becauuuuuuse... with the guidance of my Quran teacher, Ustaz Ikhwan, I completed (khatam) the Quran. YaHuuuu!

We started on 10th November 2016, with Chapter 30 before going to Surah Baqarah/Chapter 1 and today the 46th lesson, we completed Juz (Chapter) 30 again. So all in all, I had spent 46 days/lessons having him guide/check my recital. We did one hour per lesson. And two lessons per week. On some days during the beginning of the course, we spent a bit more time on tajweed rules and going through the meanings of ten selected salawat/durood. 


Seventh September Twenty Seventeen
16 Zulhijjah 1438 H
Thursday

Alhamdulillah indeed.

"May Allah accept all our deeds and make us consistent in reciting Al Quran."
Ameen.

Happy day : )

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Pray for a tranquil heart

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah, for another du'a to learn.
Some of you "advanced learners" may have already memorized this.
It's new to me.
I'm one happy soul to learn something new every day.


Allahumma inni as aluka nafsan mutma innah
tukminu bili kho ika
wa tar dho bi qodho ika
wa taq na'u bi a'tho ika

O Allah, I ask from You a soul that is tranquil,
certain about meeting You;
fully accepting of Your decree;
and contented with Your gifts.

***
Credit: Darul Murtadza

Monday, September 4, 2017

Blissful mornings | Alone with Him

Bismillah.

Praise be to Allah for creating night and day for it's sheer joy to see the day entering the night and the reverse.

Morning is my favourite time of the day.
It smells hope.
Early morning drive is surely becoming another favourite.
Just gotta thank the Creator for the simple pleasures of life.
And the opportunity to be alone with Him.
La ilaha illallah hu wallahuakbar.




Sunday, September 3, 2017

Tashrik Day 2 | Penang Food

Bismillah.

We all know about the uniqueness of the first 10 days of Zulhijjah. Tashrik days (11, 12 & 13 of Zulhijjah) are also a special gift for us in that we are not allowed to fast. Which means, for an average commoner like me (the other extreme of khawasul khawas), I translate it to a lil bit more feasting. LOL. More so for a Penangite who's holidaying in Penang and the highlight this week was certainly the Penang Street Food Festival that took place on 1st and 2nd September 2017.

The crowd at the Penang Street Food Festival
was simply insane, there were so many food to sample
and the atmosphere was absolutely sensational.
It was held in conjunction with the 60th Merdeka.
Negaraku Malaysia!
Penang juara!

Satay! Yay!

But this is a lil reminder for my niece and nephew, that despite being busy feasting, I recite the talbiyah/takbir in solitude as soon as I am by myself. Tomorrow, the 13th of Zulhijjah is the last day to recite it, so let's not waste the opportunity.

And yes of course, the food feast began at home with this scrumptious home-cooked prawns sambal petai. I vote this dish as the third most easily identifiable Malaysian food after roti canai and nasi lemak! But it's only for the brave. LOL.

Eat well.
Pray often.
Love [Penang] always
: )
OK now let's not forget to recite the talbiyah.


Saturday, September 2, 2017

11 Zulhijjah 1438 H - Tashrik Day 1 - Eidul Adha Day 2

Bismillah.


Alhamdulillah for another beautiful morning brisk walk.

Hope you have had a wonderful Eidul Adha 😙
yesterday. We have got two more days to feast and celebrate. YaHuuu...




Thank God for Eid Day #2



Eidul Adha days are for being grateful for the sacrifices made by our loved ones and for reflecting on our humble roots.

Some people used to mock me for being "orang kampung" a derogatory term used by snobbish "rich urban people" for "backward" people who come from remote/rural villages in Malaysia. It does not matter. What's more important is I am proud of my roots.

P/s
But I think I have got better taste in clothes and home decor than some supposedly 'urban people' LOL.



Friday, September 1, 2017

Eid Mubarak - 10th Zulhijjah 1438 H

Bismillah.


Also time to eat and be merry.
And be grateful.
Taqaballahuminna wa minkum
Taqabbal ya Karim.

Jumaah Mubarak.