Love, beyond the surface

To describe this week as overwhelming is really an understatement. This one week taught me knowledge worth beyond. And I am a firm believer that, you will never truly understand any situation without experiencing it yourself, or if you are not willing to stoop down to the same level as they are and see things from their perspective. Never.

You know that sentiment. When you are weighed down by so many emotions, words cannot seem to make their way out of you. This feeling is indescribable, and it won’t settle. So I’m left speechless, hanging loose, stunned and mostly, stupid. Too oblivious to only realise it now. And I’m numbing myself, because I don’t know how to react.

Life is really full of surprises. It’s like a peek-a-boo. Only reveal when the time comes, and you’ve got no say but to accept that it’s how things are meant to be. My thoughts/views have been too shallow. I’m gonna talk one topic at a time. And for this post, I’ll be talking about inner beauty.

Just stop correcting how people don their hijabs or dress themselves already. Why are we so quick to correct others. Honestly, hijab does not promise you anything. It won’t make you a pious person. You want to know what does? Your heart. The hearts the strive to conduct only the Good. Lately, I have witnessed so many beautiful hearts of friends or people who do not wear the Hijab, and I am amazed by it! As though I’ve never ever knew things like this can happen. I used to associate Muslims who does not cover their aurah to be sinful, somehow. But you know what, I think, they have better manners and bigger hearts than I do? At least, they’re brave enough to stand up to their beliefs when others begged to differ. In my case, I wouldn’t speak up what I believe is right, because I fear how people would view me. So so timid.

Inner beauty is the pureness of the heart. To choose to believe, be passionate, practice good mannerism and be humble. Inner beauty is knowing your roots despite the circumstances. It is personal, your personal promise or virtue. This is what Muslims must possess first and foremost. With inner beauty, then every other things will be put to place without force. And this is how we should portray as Muslims, despite how different or diverse we are. This the thing we need to inculcate or hold deep within us, so that when other people see us, they see through us and not what is layered upon us.

Now, I understand why some people choose to grow their love for the religion first, before they make the big decision to don the Hijab. The image of Islam should not be based on how we dress ourselves, but how we respond to situations. Of course, with proper or decent dressing, it would be like a whole package. What I meant is that, I do not see the point of enforcing the dress code more than the Akhlaq. Can we see more of, “Hey, why don’t you treat others like how Rasulullah treat his neighbours”, instead of “Hey, why is your dress too fitting?” please. Islam can’t just be based on looks right?

This does not mean I will remove my Hijab whatsoever. I am comfortable with Hijab, and I am satisfied with my Hijab progress, but now, my priority will be on aiming for the inner beauty. It takes practice. Do not worry if people cannot see that in you. Remember, it is personal. It will eventually show itself.

Let’s all unite and help each other achieve inner beauty.

TC&Wassalam

The Mikraj in your Solah

Have you heard of the specific times or situations in which your prayers will most likely be answered by Allah? Such as when it rains, or prayers of the poor? I’d like to share with you one of them, which an Ustaz had shared with me a few hours back. The reason behind it was beautifully explained, Subhaanallah. I can’t help but let out a smile.

Prayer (Or Solah) is the intimate conversations between a servant and his God. You could ask for anything during your prayers. Seriously, just ask. And remember, Allah has nothing to gain from your worship to him. You are doing it for your own good, or to increase your spiritual level. Every move in a prayer has its own meaning, but the highest level of submission and deed, the Mikraj (the most heightened appreciation of the prayer, is your last prostration to Allah. In the earlier parts of the Solah, you would be purifying your souls, such as asking God to lead you to the right path. As you sit in between two prostrations, you would ask for forgiveness. Give a few seconds after each conversation you have with God, to allow Him to respond to you. Understand the meanings behind every Arabic words you utter, preferrably. Then, in your last prostration, you would say; Oh Allah, you are the most High”, when you are physically at your lowest point. You might be at your lowest but spiritually, you are at the highest level of humility and respect to Allah. Besides, when you prostrate, it is when your heart takes over your brain. When God wants to knock some sense in you, isn’t it through your hearts?

Because heart is the key connection to Allah.

So do ask, when you are doing your last prostration in your Solah. Allah is At-tauwwab and Al-Ghafuur. He is the Most Forgiving, and He accepts your Taubah.

TC, and Wassalam.

Leap of Faith

For the past weeks, I’ve been letting myself experience new things. Been pushing myself off my limits, went out of my comfort zone to try out new things by myself, and going for or after things past my huge irksome ego. That sums up most of my February. It concluded in the most unexpected way. In spite of carefully planning how the course of the month should go by, like I always do anyway, the month caught me off guard this time.

With regards to me taking manual driving lessons, surprisingly, I have gotten used to the handling the clutch and gears, two extra skills required for manual drivers. I have proven to myself most importantly that, despite what others have said, women can drive a manual car. And I am already at that stage of making U-turns at heavy traffics now. Not so close to completing the course yet, but I am halfway there.

As the introverted person I am, I tend to avoid socialising. Especially with strangers, or those whom I looked up a lot to. There is something terrifying about striking up even the most decent topic I could think up of. But my curiosity got the better of me, and I went ahead with RSVP-ing for The Shawl Label’s Tea Party, and attending another of Al-Qudwah Academy’s Masterclass alone, last weekend. Frequently for my case, going alone means I have to make new friends.

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See, I love to challenge myself. I have never went to a ‘tea party’ before, so clearly, I do not know what to expect of the event. The thought of giving the event a miss was very tempting. Thankfully, the tea party was not too fancy. Pretty laid back event, but yeah, I had to socialise and mingle around, or I would look like a loser (Seriously! I mean who comes to a social event and just sit in a corner right?). As I joined a group of  ladies who have started the watercoloring session, I was soaked into their conversation. We did a little introduction of ourselves in a bit, and guess what? These ladies had their own spectacular stories to share. One went on a trip to the White Desert in Egypt, and actually stayed in a tent, in the middle of the desert! She told us how she teared up when the sun set, because she was too stunned by the magnificence of God’s creation. Aside from that, her job is really awesome. She deals with dead bodies, and give tickets to those who passed the red lights. I have only seen people with such occupation on TVs, but not actually know in person. So that was really an eye-opener. Raudhah, the watercoloring guru, brought us all into her past journey on learning and appreciating Islam. She used to work in the fashion industry, dealt with different models, in all sorts of wears. There would be days when she had a small talk with the models, and they would tell her what life meant to them. Then one day, she decided to don the hijab. But with the hijab, she knew she then carried the identity of her Faith. And out of respect, she had to work up her courage, and be daring to say no to working with male wears and models. Not long after, she put a stop to that career, and got back into her watercoloring career.

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Mind you, those were a lot to take in. I came with the littlest expectation of getting moved by Aida, the event organiser, also the one behind The Shawl Label. But these ladies overwhelmed me. Everyone is on their own different paths to success, but we all share the same goal. Which is to getting closer to God, to better understand our religion, and to embrace our sisterhood in Islam. Because in whatever we do, they have to serve and remind us of our religion, one way or another.  Soon after, the room was filled with beautiful ladies, which includes Aida herself. We hugged, exchanged greetings, and went straight into talking about my recent email to her. It is really heartwarming to meet the person behind this huge movement going on in the community. Emailing to her and talking face to face are two different things. Thus I am super glad I met her. She is just like one of us, but she’s made of a whole bits of pieces, and stood strong with it.

The day after, I had a Masterclass by Al-Qudwah Academy to attend. The topic discussed was about the Prophet’s Last Words. From his sermons, to the last words he uttered. It was a little emotional because of the struggles he went through yet he did not stop trying. When he was frail and weak, he tried his best to advise his companions on individual responsibilities and community rights. Even when Rasulullah S.A.W had a high fever, he made huge efforts to get up and lead the prayers. He was so concerned about his Ummah, that he asked his companions after one of his farewell sermons if he had done enough as a Prophet! Masya Allah. Who are we to think we know much about our religion when he had to ask if he had given enough guidance to us. On his last day, when his companions thought he was going to lead the prayers because the veil to his room was lifted, he looked at them from his room, smiled at them, and went back in, closing the curtain. It was said that Rasulullah S.A.W wanted to see his companions and embrace them for the last time. I thought that was really sweet. And when he finally passed away, some Sahabahs could not take in the news. Sayyidina Umar, the warrior, threatened to kill anyone who said the Prophet has passed away, because he wanted to believe that it was just a lie. Bilal bin Rabbah, the muazdin back when Rasulullah was alive, had to migrate to Syria for a couple of years because he was so in grieve. He could not stay in places that reminded him of the Prophet. Even Ustaz Taufiq, who led the Masterclass, teared up. My love for Rasulullah S.A.W grew even more.

I met with a lovely lady, Shidah, whom I have only known online previously at the Masterclass. We went back together after the Masterclass ended, since we reside in the North/West side of the country. Throughout the journey home, we had very long conversations about each other, and about the religion. All I could say about her is that, she is an inspiring lady, full of words of wisdom and has a huge passion for the religion. It made me rethink about how I view the religion, what being a Muslim means, and how I practice being one. Growing up from a Madrasah environment meant nothing when you take it for granted. And that was one of my many mistakes. I learned most of the subjects thought for the sake of passing the exams, and not beyond. I would probably fail at enticing anyone into joining the religion, but she would definitely ace it. Because when she explained certain things, I could see that it all came from her heart. And that is beautiful.

I am very grateful and contented with where I am now. Putting myself in this environment, surrounding myself with places and people that bring me closer to God. Being able to realign myself to the right path in this month is I think, the best gift ever. I would never have landed into these without the occurrence of certain matters. Hence no matter how bad the past was, Allah made it happen because of great reasons.

May Allah fill our hearts with His love, and May He pour his Mercy onto us, because we are humans and we make mistakes. Be the best Khalifah, but always be humble!

TC, and Wassalam.