Ramadhan came and went away…

This year’s Ramadhan is a whole new level of challenging month, and very different from the previous years of Ramadhan. It was my 4th year observing the fast and the holyness of the month although I think I might have not gained as much benefit as I’ve gained during the previous years. 

Last year especially since I was pregnant, I was not able to fast most of the time because of dehydration and fatigue plus whatnots – and also merely because I was still a teacher and I was using my energy and voice to teach / talk / think. It was hard, with the stuffs I would have to carry to school and back everyday. This year since I was not working anymore, I thought that it would definitely be easier but it definitely was not – breastfeeding. But who would have thought that I managed to fast. The first week although, I had fever and flu I guess from the fasting so right there I had to miss. There definitely are opinions stating that we don’t have to fast (mothers – pregnant or breastfeeding) and we just have to feed the poor not even have to make it. 

Anywho, it was indeed my fourth year and being a little weak to fast has drawn so much judgement to this self. Example, said things like how an adult has to manage fasting because of it’s physical being able to, how when I didn’t fast and it is something to be embarassed of, or maybe the fact that I missed some days is a huge deal for some. But even if it is sinful, isn’t it supposed to be a problem between you and Allah? 

This year worst still, I did not manage to pray tarawikh even once. I had to take care of Daisie, well it’s not that I am using her as an excuse to not fast (I could have done tarawikh when she is in deep sleep say around 1am to before Fajr) but I got tired too and had to wake up at 4am to prepare food for sahoor (and am not using that as an excuse for not performing tarawikh! And tahajood! Omg). But having people surrounding telling me things like “hey no fret, it’s ok” / “you’re awesome because you put your husband and baby first before you” / “let me buy you coffee just so you can feel better” is so cool (even it’s just a quote / post e.g. from Sh. Omar Suleiman or NAK). At least it made me feel good. Rather than those telling me how others can do so can I. 

Ah. 

I wanted Ramadhan to end because I couldn’t do much and I was constantly tired. But at the same time I want it to be Ramadhan all the time because of the rewards. 

But positively. 

Positively, don’t fret. Cause we’re not alone in this. There’s definitely Allah who is with us all the time, and please if there are other mothers out there who feel the same, please do say hi. We are so in need of supports yo!

#ilmfest 2014 – Mercy2Mankind : Day 1 Part 1 (Session 1 – Session 3)

Assalamualaikum warrahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

Without further delay, I will present to you readers Session 1 – Session 3 of Ilmfest 2014 conference. But first and foremost, allow me to be humble by apologising at first for my faulty language if there is, and also for not being perfect and allow me to be humble by thanking (non-stop) all the shuyukh for the wonderful messages that you all have brought to us. I wish to share them here so that my brothers and sisters who were not able to make it to Ilmfest 2014 can receive benefits as well.

Bismillah

Session 1 by Shaykh Muhammad Alshareef

This session by Sh. Muhammad Alshareef was rather a brief one as it was the first one and I was still distracted by the number of people who came into the hall and I was not able to grasp 100% of the words delivered by Sh. Muhammad Alshareef. But insha Allah, here are the inputs!

Sh. Muhammad Alshareef talked about the Quran as Allah’s word that calls us to the truth : Islam. The Quran was also accompanied by the perfect caller which was none other than our beloved prophet Muhammad (pbuh) which was the master who was well equiped to deal with the challenges of facing da’wah during his time.

We, as human we do not need to be a Sheikh, or Ustadha or the people of a higher ranking to be able to da’wah to other people about Islam. We do not need to be given approval before we can tell other people about Islam and teach them about Islam. As natural as it can be, we are all the caliphs of Islam and our jobs are to share about Islam to one another. We must not just depend on the shuyukhs or the companions to spread Islam and to give da’wah, da’wah must start from us too! Start with one ayah, two, and then three and four. Insha Allah we will make it through to da’wah and spread Islam, the most beautiful thing that Allah sent to us and the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his companions preserved for us, masha Allah!

Sh. Muhammad Alshareef said that to da’wah or to start da’wah, we can initiate by these simple 4 steps :

No. 1 : Share the knowledge to everyone! We see how in this generation people keep making trends by sharing stuffs on social medias by hashtagging and simple posting on their statuses, why not share something islamic there as well? Get people to know that Islam can be spread in ways that is easily approachable to any one. We don’t have to be the creator of the content, we can be part of those who contributed in sharing the content. As the saying goes, “sharing is caring”. So let’s show to the ummah and to others that we care about our deen, by sharing the contents of the Quran, hadith and the seerah so that everyday, everyone will learn a little or much about Islam.

No. 2 : Starting with our own family. We can da’wah to our own family members, to our husband, wife, and children first before going out to the public. Show to our partners and kids that we care about Islam, and insha Allah they will follow and they too will care about what we cared about : Islam. Share with your family members, the knowledge that you have about Islam and share it sans cesse.

No. 3 : Have good characters. The prophet (pbuh) always have the best characters, whenever he’s dealing with anybody : his wife A’isha, his companions, his followers, his friends, his uncle Abu Talib, and even to a kafir like Mut’im Ibn Adi. Masha Allah. Have good characters because this will make people love you. People with good characters are people who are trustworthy and if a Muslim is trustworthy, why wouldn’t it attract others from another religion to embrace Islam and be part of our family?

No. 4 : Protect our solahs. Be consistent in our prayers. Perform the solahs early. Perform tahajjud. Invite others to join us in our prayers. Solah jumaah. Make du’a to Allah s.w.t. Insha Allah.

Session 2 : Shaykh Kamal El-Mekki

Sh. Kamal provided stories about the seerah through out the history explaining its importance and gave us an insight on how to truly study and benefit.

The seerah was at first originally gathered as books to tell about the battles that happened during Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)’s time. The companions of our prophet (pbuh) gathered the materials to write about the seerah, and it was transmitted down by the sahabahs. Then only the books about the prophet (pbuh)’s life and behaviour were compiled.

Islam is the only nation that has an authentic history, recorded by the companions of our prophet (pbuh) through these precious seerahs. We can find a lot of books of seerah, one of the most famous now is The Sealed Nectar (which can be downloaded free online), and Sh. Yasir Qadhi also posted videos on YouTube on the seerah of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

What are then, the benefits of these seerahs? WIth these seerahs,

  • we get to love the Prophet (pbuh)
  • we get to take the Prophet (pbuh) as our role models
  • we get to love the companions of the Prophet (pbuh) who memorised the Quran and the Sunnah, and transmitted them to us
  • we get to love Allah s.w.t and we get to earn the love from Allah s.w.t.
  • we get to understand the Quran and the Sunnah with the aids of the seerah
  • we get to apply principles of the Quran on how to deal with problems

But how do we study the seerah? Sh. Kamal taught us to read the seerah, by putting the problems that we were encountering at the forefront of our mind. Insha Allah, when we read through the seerah we will realise that the contents in the seerah correlates and has links to what we were thinking at that moment. Yes, the seerah might have lots of stories about the battles and we would be thinking about how do battles got to do with our daily struggles? Think about how our Prophet (pbuh) reacted when he was facing struggles during the battles, and think about how our Prophet (pbuh) do when facing problems during the battles? Insha Allah, if we are able to link it with our daily struggles, we will be able to do like our Prophet (pbuh). We will be able to know the Prophet’s way and apply it as much as we can.

Why is the seerah so important? The seerah helps us to understand the Quran by providing us insights into the context and the feelings of our Prophet (pbuh) during the revelation of certain ayahs. For example, we need to read the seerah for it aids us in understanding Surah Al Haj where there are names of people and places and events revealed through the seerah. Masha Allah.

Session 3 with Shaykh Dr. Reda Bedeir

Sh. Reda talked to us about the Character of our Prophet (pbuh). The most beloved of us to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and the ones amongst us that will be the closest to him on the Day of Judgement will be those who have the most perfect character. For Islam is a belief system that needs us to have good akhlaq and a good ibadah. These 2 elements aid us to changing our character for better.

Let’s imagine these situations :

  1. Person A : perfected his ibadah, doesn’t skip solah even once, but does not own a good akhlak. He’s a bad neighbour and does not treat his friends with good character.
  2. Person B : performs the fard, but has a very good character.

Which of these 2 persons is a better person?

The answer is : Person B. Doing ibadah the proper ways change our character. But if we have the best ibadah but the poorest akhlaq, it equals to nothing. We should have the best akhlaq so that these akhlaq that we have can make up for our ibadah.

Best akhlaq will give us the same benefit as someone who prays all the time. (Al Bukhari)

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said : “The most beloved servants of Allah are those with the best manners.” (Hadith Saheeh).

Sh. Reda listed 5 main characters of our Prophet (pbuh) :

1. Patience or forbearance.

Our Prophet (pbuh) was a patient person. One of the examples of our Prophet (pbuh) being patient was when a rabbi spoke harshly towards him, Umar ibn Al Khattab looked at the rabbi and complained how could the rabbi speak to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in such way? Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) then commanded Umar with kindness and gentleness to repay the debt demanded by the rabbi, and pay him extra as a compensation to the intimidation that Umar had upon the rabbi. Our Prophet (pbuh) was patient towards the rabbi and towards Umar as well.

2. Consideration

Sh. Reda talks about how we should always think before speaking. We must understand the situation of the person. When we are together with 2 other friends (which makes 3 in the company), we must not leave the third one without talking to him as he will be left alone and feel secluded. Our Prophet (pbuh) was considerate enough when his grandson rode on him while he was prostrating, he did not push his grandson away or whatnot, as he was reluctant to chase the enjoyment of his grandson away. When someone sees the Prophet (pbuh) and shake hands with him, the Prophet (pbuh) waited until the other party remove his hands before the Prophet (pbuh) himself remove his hands.

3. Forgiveness

The 2 companions of our Prophet (pbuh), Abu Bakar and Umar disputed and Umar slammed the door when Abu Bakar asked for his forgiveness. Abu Bakar went to look for the Prophet (pbuh) to seek for his advice on how to ask forgiveness from Umar. Before telling the Prophet (pbuh), Umar came and told the story of what happened to the Prophet (pbuh). The Prophet (pbuh) became angry when he knew about the dispute and encouraged Umar to forgive Abu Bakar. The lesson that we can learn from this is that we must always forgive someone who asks us for forgiveness.

4. Humility

Our Prophet (pbuh) will always pay visit to the people who were sick and he will not leave them until he sees that they have smiles on their faces again. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) cleaned his own shoes and sew his own garments when he was at home. Our Prophet (pbuh) did the house hold chores as well.

5. Compassion

This element was highlighted in the story when a bedouin came into the mosque and started urinating. The companions of our Prophet (pbuh) asked the man to stop and they were ready to attack him. But the Prophet (pbuh) told his companions to leave the man alone, so the companions did not attach the bedouin and left him until he finished urinating. Then, the Prophet (pbuh) personally approached the man with kindness and gentleness to explain that the mosque is a place of worship and people come to the mosque to pray, and that it is wrong to urinate there. The Prophet (pbuh) was compassionate towards the people.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Masha Allah.

I hoped that these brief description of contents of the 3 sessions by Sh. Muhammad Alshareef, Sh. Kamal and Sh. Reda can benefit everyone in whichever way possible insha Allah. Please forgive me if there is imperfection in my words or incompletion in my descriptions. Please feel free to add and to correct me if ever I’ve given the wrong information.

I shall try my best to post up the next sessions as soon as I can insha Allah. I sincerely hope that all these will benefit everyone as how Sh. Muhammad Alshareef said in the first session : share our knowledge to one another!

Before and After Islam. (Chapter 1 – Alcohol)

What is so different about me, before being a Muslim?

Before being a Muslim, I used to love alcohol. Very much. For no reason! I would go to my friends’ place to party all night long, drink a few bottles of beer and just lay down there talking to my friends. What did I get in return? Nothing but that few hours of fun. There was once, I chugged a bottle of wine with an American friend because we decided that we both want to get drunk and get wasted while walking in the town center. It was 3 hours of fun and then a whole day of headache.

After embracing the idea of being a Muslim, I sat down and thought about why love alcohol so much. Why take alcohol for no reason. As conclusion, it was for no reason.

In Surah Al Maeda, Chapter 5 Verse 90-91 : 

5-90&91(Taken from http://quran.com/5/90 & http://quran.com/5/91)

Now to those who really love alcohol, think deeply. What is there to love about beer, wine, whiskey and whatnot? What is there to love? The condition of being drunk? Or the fact that when you consume alcohol, your friends consider that “well, you’re the kind of person that we would wanna hang out with”.

When you drink (beer, wine, tequila, whiskey and stuffs like that), what do you get besides feeling tipsy and dizzy? A few hours after drinking, what do you feel again? All the wrong things happened after being drunk. I don’t have to mention what are the disadvantages or cons that you get from alcohol. There are certainly more negative points than positive points about the alcohol, and that is why Islam prohibits it. You don’t make good decisions after getting drunk. Or do you? Have you, then? I can change from loving alcohol for no reason, to hating and not wanting to consume any drop of alcohol on my tongue for the sake of my health and my faith. I believe that others can too! Try substituting alcohol with other drinks such as coffee, Perrier, orange juice or even, plain mineral water. It’s even better for your body than the great famous Heineken or Macallan Whiskey.

Being Muslim is surely not only about putting alcohol away from us. There are a lot more things about being Muslim that I will share to you bit by bit.

To be continued. 

Chapter Of This Blog!

Well to begin with, I am a new Muslim, reverted back to Islam in March 2012 in Besançon, France. My life before March 2012 was really insignificant, when I then decided that being a Muslim is one of the best decision I’ve ever made. Being a Muslim teaches me that life is not about materials and cash. Being Muslim teaches me that life is about serving the world, giving your best that you could, and also always go back to our Creator and be grateful for all the advantages and tests that He has given to you. I chose to be a Muslim, I chose to worship Allah.

For a freshman like me, it was hard to change everything I had before. I admit, there were a few moments that I’ve asked myself “am I really doing this?”. But that moment came, and went away as soon as I think of God. It refreshes my keen on wanting to believe in that one God. No, not only believing, but also to worship Him.

Why did I revert at the first place? 

I started a few sessions of searching about this faith, and I started of asking my Muslim friends. I’ve had my Malaysian Muslim friends, French Muslim friends, African Muslim friends, English Muslim friends, Arabian Muslim friends, and even Chinese Muslim Friends. I began reading the tafsir (interpretation of the Quran). I started learning, praying, fasting and I have never felt better since. I felt so close to God and it actually made sense for me to do some good and not anticipating any returns. I became happy, and I even commenced to look better in physical. I embraced the true essence in believing a new found faith and I was extremely contented about it. I sometimes join my dear sisters for Usrah sessions, and trust me, being together with them is such a delightful moment because all you care about is not money or handbags or shoes, but building sisterhood while smiling at each other. It was all so great.

And then, one day came when I thought to myself, what are the meanings of my prayers, solahs and other practices if I am not a Muslim yet. Are my deeds accepted or not? If I die tomorrow, what will I die as? I brought forward all these questions to one of a sister, and Masha Allah… The decision to revert was made at that moment.

Thus the end of my first post, Chapter Of This Blog. I will be writing about my experience being a new Muslim, the challenges that I’ve been facing and most of it the dramas that will happen in near future. Not to forget, I will also share knowledge and everything there is to be shared, to becoming a good Muslim. 🙂

Wish me luck 🙂