Saturday, April 21, 2018

Numbered | Scrumming

Bismillah.

Assalamualaikum folks,
Hi...hi...hi! Great to be back here after a week+ of hiatus. When you are not Instagramming or publicizing your actions, that does not necessarily mean you are not up and hustling. Alhamdulillah this is to express to the world of my gratitude of being alive and kicking. 

Life is like a cycle. When we were young, we spent the week being a student and the weekends to work part-time to survive college - not me but many of us. I partied on weekends or went shopping, to be frank, LOL. But now, it's the opposite, I work for three days during the week and spend the weekend as a student. After signing out I gotta watch Lynda.com for some lessons on Statistics to prep my mind for the real class tomorow InShaAllah. Mondays and Tuesdays are for recuperating and prepping some more. Perhaps meet an old buddy who is a maestro of Statistics to teach me some more. Alhamdulillah that's what friends are for. Praise be to Allah for all the wonderful people in our lives. Our days are numbered, so be friendly we must. But like most people let's go for quality instead of quantity because we don't want to be negatively affected by blacksmith-friends, you know what I mean. Whenever you meet blacksmiths, be quick to convert them into the "Statistics of One's Ex". LOL.

Alhamdulillah, I am enjoying my job. I love that our culture is one which is super agile. I love being a scrum master for one of the squads at my workplace. Praise be to Allah for giving us the tawfiq to keep busy scrumming doing good things like acquiring new knowledge. We gotta be specific in thanking Allah because there are people who acquire immoral/useless stuff.

There are some married men in their 50s who keep themselves busy scrumming for one woman after another. Some of them have got four, five doctors in the family yet they cannot be cured still, the womanizing symptoms are still showing.

Oh somehow, some exes are thinking I'm as low as them. For God's sake, I'm marching on with my Quran recitation to Chapter 19. And they said Eza is just pretending to be good. Oh well, I say thank you, whatever good you see in me, is from Allah : )

Please...never mind me. Go take care of your unmarried daughters who are scrumming for boys and smooching them and what not. 

Excuse me, I am busy getting myself an education cos I'm not clever and education as we all know is a life-long journey after all, right until we reach the grave.

Peace out!


***

"I am the leader of this team. They have faith in me. I have to let go of the worry. Let go of the fear. I could curl up and cry at home. Not here."
- J. Sutherland (The Power of Scrum)



p/s
S - just hang in there. Don't provoke me or I'll share your pix from China soon.


Monday, April 9, 2018

Monday boost

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah to be writing from my home-office on a Monday. I feel like this space has been neglected somewhat and thus am feeling a lil bad for three reasons:

1. Writing is a good habit and a good cognitive exercise, anything good should be continued and maintained. At the beginning of 2017, I made an intention to write a lil something every day and I did. At the outset of 2018, I did not make the same niyat and naturally, psychologically, my entire being does not commit to daily writing. So I learn yet again that making an intention is key. Niyat is a fundamental pre-requisite for any actions. Did you know, writing, expressing oneself and keeping a journal are three out of 100 fun activities you could do to boost your mood, so they say. How many of the 100 items do you normally do? Refer poster below. I found it on Twitter earlier this morning. Twitter is my go-to place for inspirations and motivations on social media, not Instagram. It might be something else for you. To each her/his own. [But I have set up an Instagram account for lisanaldin! LOL.]


2. Blogging is considered as a hobby, obviously. Well, it wasn't that obvious to me until I was at an interview and was asked what my hobby was. I paused for longer than I should and said: "blogging". Gosh how boring a person I must be to not have any hobbies. So this blog has saved me in the interview LOL. I must keep it going InShaAllah.

3. I was made to understand the young ones in my family come here every now and then to chill whenever they need to take a break from their studies and college-pressures. Cos they found their aunt's postings kinda "humorous" [sometimes]. So, there's a demand for this insignificant blog. Oh no, wait, it is significant because we are all unique and only I can tell my own stories the way I do. No one else can do a better job being me/you other than me/you. Therefore, we have to celebrate being ourselves and being chosen by the Lord to be here on this Earth to serve a purpose and occasionally pick a fight with those who annoy us. LOL. Oh, yes, I am speaking [writing] my mind truthfully for this moment. Some people humiliated me and so I wrote about it and then they got mad that I got mad and wrote what I wrote about it. Whatever happens to freedom of speech or "freedom of feelings", for that matter? [If you don't want me to write a bad review for you, then stop doing bad things to me and/or replace your ugly actions with plenty of good deeds until all the murky water got replaced with crystal clear water. As simple as that.] 

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah, I keep thanking the Lord for having a 24-hour work week as I have more time to do Sunat Duha unlike before. It's actually not too difficult but of course, as a Muslim-novice like me, it's a big deal. I used to think that anyone who does duha prayer is super duper religious and I don't belong with them, but that's a wrong viewpoint, I now realize. It can be done. It's possible. I urge the young ones to give it a try. At the end of the day, Allah will look at the effort we put in, cos we all know hidayah and tawfik is His sole discretion anyway.

By the way, I am not apologizing that this space no longer serves the purpose that some of the old readers might be expecting - me sharing notes from majlis taalim cos I don't do that anymore. You all are smart people who frequent majlis taalim regularly and consistently so I imagine most of you have become a junior-shaykh/shaykha or something by now. Alhamdulillah, again, to each her/his own.

Gotta sign-off and do some office work. Yes I still do office work on Mondays voluntarily cos I love my job. And gotta do some revision for my MBA class. Oh, by the way, the first subject that will be covered is called the Learning Manager and the essence of that is "self-awareness" can you believe that? That we are supposed to reflect on ourselves and how we interact with others in the process of learning. That we are encouraged to have a "reflective learning journal". That Emotional Intelligence (EI) is emphasized a lot more than IQ. Wow!

OK folks, I gotta go now.

Best,
EI
(Eza Ismail)
: )


p/s
HE & AA - good luck in your studies and exams.
KA - best wishes for your new endeavor in the college of your choice. Bi-iznillah.
NS - wish you a speedy recovery. [I was going to type S for your short name but some "perasan" people might think I'm referring to them or their husband like they own certain alphabets. LOL]

Note to self:
Choose better feeling thoughts!

p/p/s
Speaking of boost, I have stopped buying smoothies from Boost cos I make my own nowadays. Alhamdulillah. Boost is also a brand name for an app which you may want to download. It's got nothing to do with smoothies, but you can buy Boost smoothies and everything else under the sun using the Boost app by Axiata.
: )

Home-made smoothies
[Banana, frozen blueberries, almond milk, frozen yogurt, honey, organic chia seeds, flax seeds, toasted muesli, ice]
 Yumms!

p/p/s

If you are a typical Malaysian like me who watched the AME award show on Astro last night, you would be singing and dancing (at home) to the famous song by Ruffedge - Khayalan.
Diriku sudah pun berpunya kekasih hati
Tak mungkin ku tukar ganti 
padamu yang datang dalam khayalan...
Carilah pengganti agar kau gembira lagi...

[Some of the Ruffedge guys attend majlis taalim regularly mind you!]



Sunday, April 1, 2018

Pattani | Arts that awakened the heart and mind

Bismillah.

Pattani [or Patani] is a province in South Thailand. Together with its neighboring provinces namely Yala, Narathiwat, and Songkhla, this region is well known among Muslims in Malaysia on account of its proximity, its renowned scholars who were/are active in Malaysia and the occasional violence/murders that had taken place in recent years.

I never imagined seeing Patani in a different light until I visited an art exhibition at the Ilham Gallery in KL. So there I saw for the first time some beautiful and heart moving artworks by Muslim artists from Patani region, and many of them were women!

It was really touching to 'hear' their expressions: the anxiety, the frustration, the sorrow and (a tiny speck of ) hope underlying those intricate artworks, visuals, and meaningful installations. 


By Jehabdulloh Jehsorhoh
Image of two women encountering 'death' as symbolized by a tombstone between them

The installation in front is by Jehabdulloh Jehsoroh
89 tombstones representing the number of death toll during the Tak Bai incident.
The artist brought the soil from Patani  
The only 'happy' artwork I remembered from the exhibition.
By Jehabdulloh Jehsoroh
Pretty is an understatement.
By Ina Phuyuthanon
That's Ina praying in the middle of a rubber plantation
at a high-risk zone in Yala.
Her 10-minutes film was loaded with impactful visuals and sounds:
Quranic recitals and sounds of gunfires evoked the graveness and soberness of the situation in Patani region  



Let's pray for better circumstances in the Patani region and wish all the very best for our Muslim friends there. And that the talented Muslim artists from the unstable Patani region will have the freedom to express themselves safely and to a wider audience hopefully.

The art exhibition named "Patani Semasa" is on now until 15th July 2018.


For the rest of us who are more fortunate to be living in a peaceful and happy environment, let's be more thankful and grateful.




Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Lean on Him | Virtue is my honour

Bismillah.

"Virtue Mine Honour" [virtue is my honour] is the motto of MacLean's clan - one of the oldest Scottish clan in the Highlands known for their honour, courage, and strength on the battlefields.

Alhamdulillah, it's official - now that I've paid the course fees LOL - I am a student at the Uni of Strathclyde and my batch is named after the MacLean clan. As soon as I learned this, I did some googling and discovered interesting facts about the clan. Of course, I'm proud to be associated with it, hence decided to buy the clan's tartan (no surprise at all LOL).

May Allah capacitate me to live up to the motto, to be brave, upright, respectable, worthy, honest and honourable. We can only lean on Him to have any amount of success.

May Allah help me acquire plenty of useful learning so that I may be useful to myself and others - for the longest time. Ameen.   

I wish to thank all my silent/low-keyed supporters from near and far, you know who you are. Thank you for letting me know albeit quietly that I can always lean on you. May Allah reward you with a high station in the realm of spirits for the high regard you have towards me despite knowing my weaknesses. Ameen. 

Virtue is our honour.

My tartan scarf - the most sentimental purchase for 2018 (yet)
LOL
The MacLean of Duart Hunting Tartan is recognized as the oldest tartan in the world.
Ref: http://www.clanmacleanatlantic.org/mac-symbols.html

Monday, March 26, 2018

Happy Monday | May He elevate us and grant us useful knowledge

Bismillah.



Kuala Lumpur
26 March 2018
View from Level 51 Element Hotel @ Ilham Tower KL

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah, that Allah has preserved this wonderful city of Kuala Lumpur. How many world's cities have vanished on account of the evil works of men? Shaykh Muhammad Al Yaqoubi was supposed to visit KL a couple of weeks ago, and like most people, I was looking forward to it. But Allah had willed that it wasn't going to take place. I recalled the atmosphere in 2009 when I sat in a majlis taalim in KL where he gave some useful lessons. I remembered how jovial the moments were. The shaykh asked the audience to pray for his flight home to Damascus. Imagine how things have changed in the course of nine/ten years. He cannot say something like that anymore because Damascus is nothing like it used to be. La hawla wala quwwata illah billah.



Alhamdulillah to have had a wonderful breakfast with this amazing view.
- a handful of Asmaul Husna displayed atop a nearby building.
May Allah Al Aziz elevate us to a better station. May Allah Al Aleem grant us useful knowledge
so we have the capacity to make life in this world more meaningful for us and mankind.
Ameen.

Gotta praise the chefs at the Trace Cafe @ Element Hotel KL for the scrumptious food.
And of course, we have to commend the designer and developer of the award-winning building
Ilham Tower where the hotel is co-located. It's truly a game-changing construction work, one which I had been continually watching from my balcony at Level 32 (and previously Level 39) of Setiasky Residence. Thus it was a delight to finally experience Ilham Tower at last.
May Allah keep this city safe and vibrant as ever.



Note:
The building with Asmaul Husna display belongs to the Malaysian Hajj Agency.

View from Level 39 Ilham Tower KL

p/s
This is NOT a paid review. LOL.
I paid for the hotel stay on my own and wrote from the heart & mind, not just because someone has paid me for it ; )

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Happy Sunday | Be in a good mood | Be in your element at the Element KL

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.

You owe it yourself to be in a good mood today.

Enjoy being in your element

At the Element @ Ilham Tower KL




 You have to fight through
some bad days
to earn the best days of your life.
Wama tawfiqi illah billah.


Must commend the designer/developer of the Element Hotel @ Ilham Tower KL for the lovely indoor pool and more importantly for letting us enjoy warm saline water for a change, with such magnificent view from Level 39. Yes, the water is warm and saline!

p/s
This is NOT a paid review.
I paid for my own stay and wrote sincerely from my heart and discerning mind, not just because someone has paid me to do it. I have been admiring Ilham Tower from afar for so long as I had been witnessing its construction from Setiasky Residence for the past two years or so.
: D




Saturday, March 24, 2018

Praise the Lord regardless and boost your run

Bismillah.

Do I look like I care about people's insults towards me?

One man poked fun at me that according to him, all my projects had "failed" whereas his "dakwah" YouTube channel has garnered 2 Million viewers already. However, he himself and his clan don't even bother to watch its contents as they seem to prefer other kinds of "entertainment".

I think it's apparent the definition of success and failure is pretty subjective.

I am grateful that I have got three projects progressing well, and I don't have to elaborate it here.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.




Wama tawfiqi illah billah



Praise the Lord, regardless and boost your run, girls and boys, should you encounter any negativities.



Sunday, March 18, 2018

Rejab - A splendid month

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah, here comes the first of the three sacred months.

May the Lord help us prep for this auspicious season.

Allahumma bariklana fi Rajaba wa Syaaban
wa ballighna Ramadhan

Rejab istighfar as recommended by Habib Umar bin Hafiz is pretty long for a novice like me.
So I've chosen this one-liner to learn by heart.




I seek the forgiveness of Allah
for every
word
act
and thought
and every inward
and outward action of mine
which Allah dislikes.

http://muwasala.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/IstighfarRajab.pdf


WaSalamualaikum warahmatullah.

[Trying] As ever,
-E-


Saturday, March 17, 2018

The best of gifts

Bismillah.

One night, in the still of the night, as I was making du'a I realized something which might be more obvious to you holy people out there. I realized it did not matter what I had around me, all the stuff that's attributed to me, in my life. Everything seemed to be of no value except the very du'a I was making, the list of du'a and the salawat (durood) that the Lord had put on the tongue and in the heart at that very moment. It felt like those were the only things that mattered. That the du'a was all I needed. Subhanallah. Yes, we making du'a to the Lord is the best gift from Him, already.     

And one other best of gifts is du'a from friends whose level of piety is 1000 rungs above you. You know the popular Tee that says "My friend went to London, and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt"?

I feel like having this written on a T-shirt, it's a bit long though and it doesn't rhyme but it weighs a tonne for me.
"My friend went to Japan
to be Imam at a mosque there,
and all I got was his du'a." 

YaHuuu!

Think again if you want to judge me.
Look at the kind of people I befriend, and try judge again.
But then again, I don't really care about your opinion.

LOL


Greetings from my humble abode



p/s
Someone thought I was arrogant about being clever.
Ahah... now I know I am clever. Thanks for the compliment, I shall approach my cleverness with a grateful heart : )

Who is arrogant/boasting about her/his seemingly good deeds? Not me!


Friday, March 16, 2018

Conditions created

Bismillah.

Assalamualaikum,
Hi folks!

Yeah...I know you missed me. LOL.
I know you are still checking on me. LOL.
Been busy cherishing life and its wonderful manifestations. Just like you.

Ah...I don't mean to appear insensitive to those who might be heart broken right now. You know they say, change your thoughts and the thing you look at will change. It takes a lot of practice. "The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet." - J. Oppenheim
But then good stuff takes time to grow.

Anyway, this week could have been more awesome if the talks by Shaykh Yaqoubi had not been canceled. But Allah knows best. I was looking forward to seeing him again after a decade. In 2009, I was fortunate enough to be among the audience who sat in his majlis and received ijazah for Hadith Ar Rahmah about the virtues of compassion. 

Here's a link to my old posting - some sketchy notes of the lesson learned then.

Be compassionate on yourself, first and foremost, so as to be happy from within.
: )



Yes, happiness is not created as a result of certain conditions. Certain conditions are created as a result of happiness.

Happy Weekend!

p/s
Cutenye...cutenye...
[Inside joke LOL]
Girl, try again another day  ; )


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Feed your focus

Bismillah.

What are you feeding on?
As for the soul, let's feed on the remembrance of the Lord (zikir in the form of repetitive sacred verse, or just plain thoughts of the Almighty), Quranic verses, salawat and happy positive thoughts. 

Err...it's not a matter of speech ya. I am a regular Quran reader who is obsessed with salawat - all thanks to the tawfik from Allah.
Wama tawfiqi illah billah, alaihi tawakkaltu wa ilaihi unib
"My success can only come from Allah, in Him I trust and unto Him, I look"
[Hud:88]

How do you define distractions?
Irrelevant, unimportant social media feeds.
People who try to derail you from your life path/goals.
  
How do you starve distractions?
Just be in your own zone, stay on course, do what matters to you and anything that makes you happy.
And remember, what makes you happy doesn't need approval from anyone else.
  
This is a reminder for one nephew of mine who is busy focusing on his studies. Feed your focus Mer, and before long, you gonna fly. "We got wit, we don't do ___."
You know what to fill in the blank ; )




Thursday, March 8, 2018

Press for progress

Bismillah.

'Press for Progress' is the theme for 2018 International Women's Day, as you might be aware. We all love anything that rhymes don't we? Yes, I absolutely love the slogan. We, women, have to keep pressing forward to make a unit of progress, on a daily basis. And as one who has quite an extensive experience working in the corporate world, I want to say this, that we should also be quick and bold to press the "reject" button whenever men try to bully us at work. I used to be a victim but as I grow wiser and older I have become good at virtually punching them: damn men-office-bully.

You know I have a male colleague who had the nerve to ask me (and a female colleague) if there's a full stop after Mr? This guy has been working for decades and has been lobbying with the "top guns" so he could get a double promo, yet he expected me to help him with drafting a simple email. He's not even sure about simple punctuation rules. [Shame on you Mister. You decide yourself, Mister. Or ask Mr. Google. Mr Google (without a full stop) will be happy to answer too.]

You might have seen the photo of a bunch of policemen standing talking to one another as one lady janitor wiped off a graffiti that says 'Happy International Women's Day'. This took place at a prestigious uni in the UK. You just feel like slapping the face of all four policemen in the pix, don't you? LOL.

On the 8th of March, as I reflected outwardly and inwardly, I just wanted to mention two women who were on my mind: my first Quran teacher and Ms. Masako Wakamiya the 82-year-old, oldest iPhone app developer, who first started using the PC at the age of 60.  

My Quran teacher did not only teach me to read the Quran for the first time. She instilled the drive to press for progress as far as Quran recital is concerned - that it takes constant effort throughout one's lifetime. You might have read a posting I did about using a digital Quran-pen to check on the correct tajweed/pronunciation for any verse that I was unsure of.  I used to be among those old-school readers who prefer the hardcopy. Well, I still read using a physical Quran but I have become a happy user of the Muslim Pro app. It's hassle-free as compared to using a digital Quran pen. I don't have to worry about charging the pen. With the Muslim Pro app I could choose to repeat each verse twice, thrice or even infinite times (in case you want to memorize the ayah). In my case, I set it to repeat twice. The first time is to listen and observe how a professional Qari recites. The second time is to listen again while reading the meaning of the verse. I do this to familiarize as a warm-up session before actually reading the Quran using a physical book. And whenever I do so, as I come across any verse that I'm not sure about, I would use the Muslim Pro app again to zoom into the particular verse. I hope you too would be encouraged to improve your recitation by using the Muslim Pro app. Good to keep busy scrolling the verses covering as many surah as possible, repeatedly, than to scroll the phone for other meaningless feeds. 

Ms. Masako Wakamiya who developed a Japanese gaming app meant for the seniors is indeed a living proof of "Press for Progress". She inspires us to keep ourselves busy doing meaningful things, feeding our brain positively, filling up our leisure time with useful learning. This oldest app developer took up the piano at 75. 

How old are you? What are you up to?

I can't wait to start my MBA course, very soon. Bi-iznillah. It's March, I am marching to Chapter 11 of the Quran now. Hope to khatam in May inShaAllah. I bet you are busy doing better and bigger stuff.

Do your "Muslim Pro" thing.
Maximize the app.

***
Articles on Masako:

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Praise THE Carrier | Provider of good things

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah that THE One and Only Carrier has kept me safe during my recent trips. I'm feeling a lil disoriented [but grateful] after non-stop trips since late Jan, and now back in KL. It feels like my supposedly full-time job in KL has become just a pastime LOL.

Of course, my whereabouts are not important. What's important are these reflections that I have been doing during my trips and these are lessons worth sharing with the young ones in my family.

When you are "alone" albeit being in a company, as you traverse the land you tend to become more conscious of at least two verses of the Quran; about Allah creating a beautiful canopy (the sky) above us and about Allah holding the birds in mid-air. For today, let's talk about the canopy. Can you imagine not having a decent looking canopy above us? Imagine if it was just void, pitch-black or ugly patches all the way up? Imagine if it was an eerie looking giant hole? It might have been a window to the hell, even! No, it's not even the typical things you see on a shop's exposed ceiling i.e. the electrical wiring, the aircon pipes, the ventilation system, ugly!

But, Allah  Al Bari' the Designer/the Inventor thought about it all, He fashioned it, developed it so thoughtfully and beautifully; and ever-evolving at that. The canopies are always changing colors and shapes at every moment in time. Subhanallah!  

So, let's think about it a lil deeper. Let's reflect upon Surah Ghaffir 40:64. Let's memorize and internalize it.

Indeed He has provided us with good things.

"Allah it is Who appointed for you the earth for a dwelling-place and the sky for a canopy, and fashioned you and perfected your shapes and has provided you with good things. Such is Allah, your Lord. Then blessed be Allah, the Lord of the Worlds."





My second secret hammock spot in Penang.
Nay not going to tell anyone LOL
Praise the Provider of Good Things!
Can't blame me for recognizing the good in my life.
Gratitude=recognizing the good in one's life.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Living Malacca [again and again]

Bismillah.

Hi... Hi... Hi... folks
Ya Hayy.....praise the Lord the Life-giver for letting us live a peaceful and joyful life while not forgetting Him.

Here are more clippings documenting my weekend spent in Melaka (Malacca) so that it won't be lost for my future recollection. We have a duty to love ourselves that's why. [Btw this is backdated. It's Tuesday morning. Am writing from my home in Penang actually! Alhamdulillah.]

Anyway, He is Beautiful and He loves beauty. We see His Beautiful crafts everywhere and of course, we love beautiful objects, we don't have to be apologetic about it. I especially love hotels/living spaces that have got beautiful decor so that's why I recorded more pics of a hotel lobby and rooms than faces. LOL. 

That's a Batik frame. Malaysian Batik that is.
Visit Malaysia : )




I leave myself and you with this quote.

"The happiness of your life depends upon
the quality of your thoughts."
- Marcus Aurelius

Think happy thoughts.
Live a happy life.
Think well of the Generous Lord
Al Kareem, Al Wahab, Ar Razak,
So He will be generous towards us.
He is what we expect Him to be.
"I am as my servant thinks I am"
- Hadith Qudsi

Saturday, March 3, 2018

May we march boldly and live colorfully

Bismillah.

Happy to touch base at my fave space and send out some luv. This time from Melaka (again). I will repeat this info for the benefit of our foreign visitors: Melaka is about two hours drive south of KL. I love everything about this city, hmm except one thing, its slogan  - "Don't mess with Melaka". Hey, we love you lah that's why we keep coming back LOL. And no we don't dare mess with you ever, out of respect for the grand saint at a nearby island Pulau Besar - Sultan Ariffin Sayyid Ismail. Good to be conscious of the ruhhul quddus (sacred souls) no matter where we go.  

We just can't get enough of Melaka, and Penang of course.

I leave you with quotes that we all can relate to, surely:
"Love yourself first, because that's who you'll be spending the rest of your life with."
And spend your life colorfully.
And "be loyal to your future, not your past."

Pulau Besar - a resting isle for one descendant of the Prophet
- Sultan Ariffin Sayyid Ismail 


In living colors | Living in colors




Featured in my video clippings = homemade vadai - a specialty of a family friend of mine. Tomorrow she's going to make Asam Pedas Daging Tetel for us - it's a signature dish of Melaka.

Visit Melaka.
Visit Malaysia.


Friday, March 2, 2018

A gesture from Madinah Al Munawarah

Bismillah.

I always go for quality than quantity when it comes to friends.

Today is one of the days I feel extra blessed cos a good friend of mine gifted me with this lovely misbahah/tesbih. How not to feel special? It's a gift from a Madinah resident. Of course it's special cos it's green. It's special the fact that it came from the place of residence of our dearest Prophet salallah alaihi wasalam. I take this as a gesture that my countless selawat have reached him salallah alaihi wasalam.

I am happy that this friend of mine had moved from Mekah to Madinah. Indeed Madinah is THE place to live and die. May Allah grant a good life and husnul khatimah to this friend of mine - the giver of this lovely gift. May Allah grant us the honor of dying [if not living] in Madinah. Ameen.



Thursday, March 1, 2018

March forward

Bismillah.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.

We all love March, don't we? This third month of the year is like the third gear. You are gearing up quickly before speeding your way. Personally, I am so looking forward to the month-end ; D when I'll have a spring in my step InShaAllah. I read somewhere that a Mukmin's nature is to be in a cool, collected, smiling state in good times and not-so-good times. We have to promote and rejoice in well-being as it is all part of Allah's bounties while keeping in our hearts/du'a our friends who are not as fortunate as we are. 

OK that's all I'm saying, a gesture indicating I'm so alive n kicking : D

Here's a motivational quote for you and me:

"The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up."
- Paul Valery

Wake up early in the morning.
Wake up after a siesta so you can wake up at night.
Wama tawfiqi illah billah.


Paul is here in KL y'all.
Laduree Paris is here too
"It doesn't get easier;
You get better."
- Dominique Scott

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Stirling Minds | Sterling will | "Start Your Impossible"

Bismillah.

A couple of nights ago, at home, in Penang, that's my reading material. [See pic below].

Not sure about you, but my alma mater matters to me. The University of Stirling turns 50. It got me thinking what will I be when I am 50? Bi-iznillah, by Allah's will, I should be graduating from the Strathclyde Uni in two year's time insha'Allah. Yup, we ought to learn all the way to the grave. Age is not a limit to self-development. Theoretically speaking, I want the "last decade" of my professional life to be super productive and hence super great. For that to happen I have to update my knowledge and sharpen my skills. This is another example of how Allah's plans always prevail. To be honest, I was planning on something else, yet His plans slowly and gradually emerge, overriding mine. We'll have to embrace the Lord's decree, don't we?

I pray Allah will grant me and you, especially those of you who need a little push to move forward, a strong sterling will and support to achieve all that we need to achieve. That we have himmah (passion) and sabr (perseverance) for success.

I spent the day recuperating while watching all 19 episodes of "Impossible Moments" on the Olympic Channel. Yes! Hard to choose a favorite as they are all heart-warming.
Here's one:

Big thanks to Toyota's brilliant campaign "Start Your Impossible" featuring stories of Olympic and Paralympic athletes whose sacrifices and determination could bring tears to your eyes. More than that, it taught me the value of self-belief in pushing one's limitation and facing one's "impossible". Well, not just face what you fear or may perceive as impossible, it's about starting it, it's about acting on it and overcoming it.   

I have read some very good copywriting materials before but this one by Toyota stirs the spirit.

"During the Olympic Winter Games, beyond rooting for medals, Toyota is aiming for the best example of society, one that strives to uplift spirits, triumph in achievements, and learn from setbacks that open door for improvements, advancement, and potential."

You have to read it, watch the stories and feel it for yourself. I salute Toyota for their remarkable initiative.

"I hope that everyone affiliated with Toyota, will feel inspired by the Games, to challenge their impossible and defy their limitations."
-  Toyota President, Mr. Akio Toyoda

Yes, feeling inspired!



Stir up your spirit
start your impossible
For the first time ever, Malaysia is represented at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Thanks to two young gentlemen who pursued their interests and dreams, proving Malaysians could do something we thought impossible. Kudos to Julian Yee and Jeffrey Webb!


Saturday, February 24, 2018

My country Malaysia

Bismillah.

It's a day to reflect and rationalize, for me, after a 7-day hectic trip abroad, 3-day work week, 11-day break in my lovely hometown Penang and then back to work at the office for two days and then came this meaningful, brilliant, historical Friday when we had Malaysia's Prime Minister in da houze y'all - quite literally - at the Axiata Arena in KL, Malaysia.

I have always been a patriotic person and never apologetic about it unlike some people who think being patriotic means you are being less-religious LOL. I was glad when I heard at least two genuine shuyukh saying "loving one's country is part of faith". Of course, it is part of faith because being patriotic means being grateful for Allah's blessings for you that you have a place to call home - a peaceful, a relatively rich, and a beautiful country named Malaysia. Of course, I am grateful for my Negaraku (my country) for it gives me a good life, I don't have to migrate elsewhere just to have a good life. The country gives me wealth by virtue of working with a good homegrown corporation. I agreed with the Prime Minister on a lot of things he said at the event held on 23rd Feb 2018 at Axiata Arena especially this one: that "when you create a company like Axiata, you create wealth and you create talents." 

The atmosphere at the event was amazing. The photos below are my own personal favorites. They were taken in the morning during rehearsal, hence the empty seats. I wondered what was going through the mind and heart of the President of Axiata (the gentlemen standing alone on stage) as the song Hebat Negaraku was playing. He has been championing the company for 10 years and yesterday the Prime Minister acknowledged Axiata as "a truly regional champion with Malaysia at heart."

He, the President of Axiata has quite a brain, needless to say. Last night I was reading the news report of Axiata's stellar performance. To be frank, I could not "brain" his brain. LOL! I was thinking to myself, all the financial jargons he quoted and the complex-sounding biz strategies he undertook - I thought OMG all this I will learn and will have to master in my soon-to-commence MBA course. LOL.

But of course, Allah teaches us what we need to know as He prepares us for roles He has decided for us. Our job as He instructs us from day one is Iqra - read!
    
Prime Minister Mohd Najib Razak mentioned at the event, a philosophy he introduced several years back, it sounded so brilliant in Malay - "Akal global, akar lokal." which means one has to think globally while being grounded to one's root. 

I know my nieces and nephews will be reading this posting (sooner or later), thus I hope they will understand and appreciate the importance of education, of nurturing one's talent continuously even after school/college, at the workplace, anywhere and everywhere at every opportunity. The opportunity need not be big, it's as easy as reading up a short piece of useful information, it's as easy as being quiet for a moment to think and reflect. And imagine. And dream.   

Negaraku, tanah tumpahnya darahku.




I am a grateful and a proud Malaysian,
I take my seat in this country gladly!
Hebat Malaysia!

p/s

Yesterday was the second time in decades that I got to sing the national anthem Negaraku. I must say it felt different - in a very good way. The first occassion was about a month ago. It felt special to have stood up and sang the anthem in the presence of a very bright, tall, dark and handsome Malaysia's Sports Minister who spoke at the event without a script. He spoke intelligently befitting his impressive education background. While we stood up and sang, the screen showed visuals of our King - Sultan Muhammad V. I had goosebumps then looking at the King's regal image and knowing how pious and humble a man he is. I had the same feeling at the Axiata Arena yesterday. It's very clear to me that this country is very blessed indeed! Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.

Hebat, hebat, hebat, hebat Negaraku!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Island in the sun

Bismillah.

Hope you have had a fab Sunday.
My 11-day hols are not over yet. Don't be jealous ok LOL.

Today we went around Penang island starting from Gelugor in the north-east, we headed southwest to Balik Pulau (it literally means the other side of the island) and drove up to the north side of the island where the touristy Batu Feringghi area is and back home. Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah the drive was safe and smooth.

I am liking the fact that I could easily compile all my video clippings pretty easily. And the fact that I don't have to work tomorrow - Monday.

Allah Kareem.
Balik Pulau - southwest

Batu Ferringhi - north
At another 5 star hotel that has been like a second home to my family.
Thank God for wonderful times.
Home - Gelugor - Northeast


Visit Penang, Malaysia.
It's worth every Ringgit you spend.
😉



Saturday, February 17, 2018

That which starts in your head

Bismillah.

"What makes you happy does not need approval from anyone else."

Me and my partner at "Fat Nose & Co"
 just because beauty starts in your head,
 not in your mirror. LOL


Just another set of clippings of fun time in my hometown Penang.

Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.
For that grey matter between our ears and every lil thing, He puts in our hands.

Have a fab weekend folks.
Enjoy the moment but don't get attached to it, good or bad, it shall pass.




Friday, February 16, 2018

Sunny blissful Friday | Gong Xi Fa Cai

Bismillah.



Assalamualaikum

Of course, we praise the Lord Almighty for the simple pleasures of life, like catching that glorious sunshine I did yesterday over the tiny strait between Penang island and Butterworth (mainland Peninsular Malaysia).

We have to pause and take the time to think about how blessed we are. Alhamdulillah, He woke us up today, so be thankful to Him, by doing good and doing more. Bruce Lee says: to love life is to not waste time because time is what life is made up of.

I am going to make myself useful to my mother today, as always. What about you?

Wish y'all a blissful Friday.
And Gong Xi Fa Cai to our friends who are celebrating the Spring Festival, the Chinese Lunar New Year. May our lives be more prosperous this year.


p/s
Singing: I got that sunshine in my pocket, 
got that good song in my feet 😉




Thursday, February 15, 2018

Merry time | Maritime Waterfront Penang

Bismillah.

Assalamualaikum folks,

Be merry and be grateful no matter where you are.
Greetings from my hometown Penang 😁

I was delighted to see Khoo Salma's book at the hotel.
She narrates histories of Penang in a pleasant and warm manner,
you wished studying history in high school was just as fun.



Good morning, let's seize the day.


The view from my blogging spot.
Penang Bridge in the background 

looking a wee bit faint at 7 a.m.