On Making Choices as a Mother

The thing about motherhood is that every decision you make has a trade-off and you have to choose your priorities. The sooner you can accept that, the less stressed and frustrated you will be and more accepting of your current life. The sooner you will find peace despite the voices in your head and despite what is happening around you.

The most important thing is to strive to be an empowered mother regardless of the choices we make because ultimately every mom wants the best for her kids and every family has a different “formula” (there is no formula though), what works for you may not work for others and vice versa. You just have to do what makes you feel right and what works best for all of you. And God knows how much our children will benefit more from empowered and happy moms instead of stressed out and insecure ones.

If we look at the Muslimah mummies in Islamic history, all of them had a different story of their own. Like Khadijah r.a. was a businesswoman, and Fatimah r.a. was a homemaker. But both were special in the eyes of Allah s.w.t. and Rasulullah s.a.w loved them both so so much. Allah blessed Aisyah r.a. with knowledge and Maryam raised Isa a.s. on her own. Rabiatul Adawiyah never married and Zainab r.a. went through a separation before being married to the Prophet s.a.w. Hajar found Zamzam while running between two mountains in searching for food for her baby SubhanAllah. 

Their challenges were different from each other and Allah purposely made it that way so there is something for everyone. Likewise, our children are unique individuals and so are we. We always read up about children being different from each other but hey, no two moms are alike too! My own mother and mother-in-law couldn’t be any more different MashaAllah, with their quirks and personalities – but they manage to raise us to the best of their capabilities Alhamdulillah.  

So whenever we catch ourselves comparing with other moms (as we usually do, let’s face it), we should insyaAllah try and be conscious of our thoughts – as most of the time they are whispers from the syaitan, who always wants you to feel bad about yourself. #goodvibesonly 

Allah said that “And no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. And if a heavily laden soul calls [another] to [carry some of] its load, nothing of it will be carried, even if he should be a close relative…” (excerpt of surah Fatir, verse 18).

So see? It’s totally okay that you have chosen this and not that or that happened and not this (like what you have planned). At the end of the day, only Allah’s redha is necessary, not anyone else’s. He knows Best.

Of Endings and Beginnings

Recently, a dearest friend of mine lost her mother. She passed away peacefully in her sleep during the wee hours of the morning.

It was one day before the wedding day of another dearest friend of mine as she embarks on her new journey as a wife.

I was reflecting on how we go through endings and beginnings every single day on earth and shared this short poem in my facebook page:

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim.

Today a dearest friend’s mother passed away.
Tomorrow, another dearest friend is getting married.

One will begin life without a mother,
While the other will begin life with a husband.

Two new beginnings,
Two totally different circumstances.

The ending of a soul in earth,
And the ending of singlehood.

Life in dunya, filled with beginnings and endings.
An ending brings a beginning of something.
With a beginning, there is an end.
And our ultimate end – is back to Him.

“Therefore glory be to Him in Whose hand is the kingdom of all things, and to Him you shall be brought back.” – Yaseen, 83

It’s true isn’t it? One day our life in this world is going to end and we will move on to the world that we came from, to a world that is eternal.

Speaking about beginnings, currently I am going through a new beginning (MashaAllah, who knew a career switch would be really t-o-u-g-h). Another thing about beginnings is the importance of breaking out of your comfort zone and have the guts to learn new things. For my newly wedded friend, she has to adapt to having a new person in her life 24/7 and her new responsibilities as a wife. For my friend who has lost her mum, she will have to learn to slowly deal with her own emotions of grief – as well as her father’s.

May Allah bring us through our different personal challenges and may these tests that He has presented us with, only aim to bring us closer to Allah s.w.t. InsyaAllah ameen.

Precious moments and precious nights

SubhanAllah we’ve already reached the final days of Ramadhan.

These final days and nights are so precious, for Laylatul Qadr could be on one of these nights…

As I’m blogging now I smell a whiff of kuih tart baking in the oven… Mmm…

I haven’t blogged since my previous post and that is by choice. I thought I’d set some goals this Ramadhan after following emails by Productive Muslim and watching Productive Ramadhan videos on being more productive in Ramadhan. For starters, spending less time on social media and internet. I actually deactivated my facebook on the first day of Ramadhan simply because I can be a busybody and get distracted easily everytime I log in to fb hehehe. So deactivating it was actually one of the best things that’s happened, lol. But really. I actually do get a lot more things done Alhamdulillah!

A couple of weeks ago during the beginning of Ramadhan, I had the opportunity to volunteer at an autism school. So I got to see how special education teachers work as well as seeing children and teens with autism in school. It was an eye-opening experience, because it was my first time being inside a school specially for autistic students, hence my first time seeing their many various behaviours and antics. I discovered that there are verbal and non-verbal students. Meaning there are students who can express their words verbally and those that can’t. There are many highlights and moments that I took away from.

One of them was this. At one of the classes I was attached to, there was a Malay Muslim 12-year old boy. I discovered with a pleasant surprise, being told by his teacher, that he was actually fasting. SubhanAllah, my heart suddenly welled with emotions. Children who have not reached puberty and especially people who are not of “complete sound mind” are not required to fast, and here he was, a 12 year old child with autism and he had chosen to fast. I felt touched. Boy’s going to Jannah InsyaAllah. During the class’ snack time, he sat at another corner of the cafeteria so I accompanied him while he colored in his coloring book. I managed to have a short conversation with him (he is a student who is able to verbalise his words) and he asked me when is Hari Raya. I thought, Allah presents these moments for us to learn so much things from, SubhanAllah…

Beautiful moments in Ramadhan, when you’re praying taraweeh and you didn’t bring the sejadah because you just don’t bother to and you don’t mind sujood at the carpets, and suddenly the sister beside you chose to share her beautiful soft and puffy sejadah with you. MashaAllah. Love.

And that is my short post for now, InsyaAllah I will blog more soon! Meanwhile, I wrote a summary on my Ramadhan last year and here it is. (Don’t mind the slightly “sad” tone of the post, because I was going through some trying times mainly wedding planning stress and work stress and whathaveyounot so Ramadhan came as a saviour. But Alhamdulillah this Ramadhan I am feeling a lot happier Alhamdulillah). Smiley face to show that 😀

To my dear BTBs who are spending this Ramadhan as the last time being single, if you’re feeling stressed, hang in there ok sayangs? InsyaAllah all will be worth it when you get to spend the next Ramadhan with your significant other. If He brings you to it, He will bring you through it. And please do embrace your last single Ramadhan and do as many good deeds as you can as a singleton. Especially the personal time that you have with God, spend as much time to tahajjud with Him when you have more time for yourself now.

May Allah accept all our deeds, grant us Paradise, grant us His forgiveness and safe us from the Hellfire, InsyaAllah.

May Allah make us steadfast in our efforts and make our hearts gentle and peaceful always, InsyaAllah.

May Allah ease the pain of our brothers and sisters around the world who are going through calamities, and may Allah erase all their sins and grant them Paradise, InsyaAllah.

Ameen.

Ramadhan is Here and Why I love This Merciful Month

Ramadhan Mubarak! 🙂

ramadan-mubarak-3

Alhamdulillah we have finally reached the blessed month of Ramadhan this time which starts on 28th June in Singapore.

I’m always excited for Ramadhan because this is the month of the Quran! What do I mean by that? Well, Muslims believe that the Holy Book of Al-Quran was sent down from God onto Earth on the night of Lailatul Qadr, which falls in Ramadhan. In addition to that, the first verse that was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him), verses 1-5 in Surah Al-‘Alaq, was also revealed in the month of Ramadhan.

So this is why in Ramadhan, we are encouraged to spend more time with the Quran, be it in recitation, contemplation, listening, memorizing and most importantly increasing our understanding of the content of Al-Quran, which can be said as God’s love letters to us His humble servants. 🙂

On top of that, Muslims will fast from dawn to dusk, having our morning meal before dawn and breaking our fast when dusk arrives. Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam and every Muslim of age and health are required to fast in Ramadhan. The purpose of fasting is to clean our bodies, purify our hearts and soul. With an empty stomach, sometimes the body and mind performs better compared to a full stomach. But God does not mean for us to “starve” ourselves, that’s why we are encouraged to do our morning meals, or “suhoor”. Fasting also reminds us of humanity around the world who do not get to eat as much as we do on a daily basis.

Ramadhan is also an opportunity to do more good deeds. The solat taraweeh, an additional sunnah prayer that is only done in Ramadhan is an activity after iftar that I look forward to every year. Done in as little as 8 and usually as much as 20 sets of 2 rakaats each, accompanied by 3 rakaats of witr prayer to conclude the taraweeh prayers. This sunnah prayer can be done individually or as a jemaah. For motivation, usually I like to do it in a mosque especially since I live within walking distance of Masjid Alkaff Kampung Melayu.

The magical thing about Ramadhan is that every year, despite the similar activities and good deeds we are encouraged to do, every Ramadhan is actually very different from another. Of course for me one of the main differences is that I’m spending my first Ramadhan as a wife, and so too for my husband. InsyaAllah I will write another post about this. For now, I am enjoying all the goodness, the rahmah (mercy) that Allah is presenting this month SubhanAllah.

Let me share an incident I encountered this week on the beginning nights of Ramadhan that so embodies this to a T.

Just last Monday as I was doing my Taraweeh in Masjid Alkaff, there sat next to me were 2 sisters – one about 11 years and the other about 5 years old. Such adorable ages! But the thing is I did not notice them until after we were done with the 8th rakaat and the “Ya Tawwab” zikr has finished. When the Imam got up to continue doing the 9th rakaat, I heard the 5 yo girl said to her sister (in a very audible voice nonetheless), “Diorang solat lagi???” (They’re praying again???) Apparently she had thought it was over because some mosques end their Taraweeh at 8 rakaat, but for Masjid Alkaff the 8 rakaat set is only done on Saturday nights.

The big sis then turned and asked me about it, with a confused look on her face. So I explained to them the above, in which she then asked me. “Mbak ikut?” (So will you be continuing to 20 rakaats then? Also, that’s when I knew they were Indonesian; In Singapore Malay language we would refer to a sister stranger as “kakak” but in Indonesian she is referred to as “mbak”) In which I nodded and smiled, and I saw that they then decided to stay and pray until the end of 23 rakaats.

Oh MashaAllah.. Suddenly, I had the strength to continue until 23 rakaats! Even though I had decided to stay, just a couple of minutes ago I was already counting down to 20 hahaha but seeing them decide to leave or to stay, and deciding to stay because there was an older sister beside them (me) who was going to continue on… made me feel so touched and even more motivated. We gather strength from each other…  

At the end of the 12th rakaat, big sis asked me, “Masih kurang berapa?” (How many do we have left?” In which I answered that we had 8 more rakaat to go followed by 3 rakaats of witr prayer. At the end of the 18th rakaat with only 2 left to go, I thought I’d encouraged them, “Lagi 2 sahaja!” (Only 2 more left sisters! We can do it!). And then as we had finished 2 rakaats of witr with only 1 rakaat left, I saw the younger sister gesture to her big sis and holding 1 finger up as if to say “Only 1 more left right kak?” Awwww I swear that moment was just the cutest moment ever. Their semangat despite their struggle was really touching for me. So we finished it together, me and my 2 younger sisters in Islam. It was such a beautiful moment for me. Alhamdulillah.

Afterwards, they waited for me to pack up my telekong (praying garments) and we headed to the exit together. Alhamdulillah for these moments. Alhamdulillah that I was able to motivate them to complete the full 23 rakaats, but in fact in motivating them, they were actually the ones motivating me to finish, even if they might not have realized it. MashaAllah, truly Allah is the Subtle and the Knowing. 🙂

Have a blessed Ramadhan this year to my brothers and sisters in Islam 🙂

7 Ways to Say I Love You to Your Spouse

There are 1001 ways to say I love you to your spouse or any of your beloved ones, and from fairy tales to marriage talks, these seven I love yous are the most simple and sweet and in my mind recently.

Point 6 and 7 is specially focused on Muslim married couples, which I learned from talks on Muslim marriages. They are excellent expressions of love to your Muslim husbands and wives, as they remind you to love for Allah, the Creator of Love… 🙂

So here are the 7 I Love Yous…

1. I love you

The original.

(Why is it that it is kind of weird to say this in Malay eh? “Aku Cinta Padamu…” Hubs and me tried and it sounded so funny and weird coming from our mouths. Like, so jiwang kan the line.)

2. I love you too

Your usual reply.

3. I love you soooo much

When you’re feeling more loved and just feeling more expressive XD

4. I love you more

I just watched Tangled recently and what is it about animated characters that make it just so irritatingly cute when they go all “I love you..” and then, “No, I love you more…” but you can watch and not feel so annoyed compared to movies with real people in it? Lol.

5. I love you most

Again, from Tangled. Haha. This will never end.

6. I love you for the sake of Allah

What I learned from Ustazah Norhafizah Musa at the Konvensyen Muslimah Kontemporari 2, last month. I love this because it reminds me that love comes from Allah first and He can also take it away anytime.

7. I love you for the pleasure of Allah and also for my own pleasure

What I learned from Mufti Menk’s lecture on marriage at Muhajirin Mosque few weeks ago.  This, I find is the best way to say I love you to your spouse because it reminds you to love your spouse for Allah and it is also realistic in saying that hey, in striving to be better persons, we’re just human afterall and we derive pleasure from loving our spouses, InsyaAllah. 😉

Moments of Tranquility at Masjid Khalid

I stepped into Masjid Khalid for the first time this year, recently for a gathering commemorating Isra’ Mi’raj, the Night of Prophet Muhammad’s Ascension into Heaven. Many mosques in Singapore will organize this gathering where we will pray in congregation “solat jemaah” (in a mosque, men and women sit and pray separately), listen to a talk by the Imam about what happened during the night followed by lessons and key takeaways for us.

As the event finishes, before we part we will eat together in a big tray or “makan berdulang” enjoying the delicious nasi briyani provided by the mosque. It is barakah (blessings) to serve people food and it creates a spirit of togetherness in the community. Similar to praying in congregation which creates a spirit of united-ness in serving God.

Cozy and peaceful

Being in Masjid Khalid gives off a lovely and cozy kampung vibe. It is lovely to i’tikaf (sit and reflect) inside this mosque. A feeling of peace, simplicity and tranquility. It is no wonder my husband likes to go this mosque, especially for special nights in the Islamic calendar. I usually headed to another mosque, but decided to follow my husband this time – and I have come to love it. I love how marriage brings upon new opportunities like this, Alhamdulillah. There are 69 mosques in Singapore, so there’s bound to be one you haven’t yet explored.

My second visit

Today I was at Joo Chiat area with my mum and after having our meals, we went to Masjid Khalid to do our Asar prayers. There are 2 places of worship in Joo Chiat area – Darul Arqam Convert’s Association where there is a praying space “musolla” and Masjid Khalid. Usually we would head to Darul Arqam to perform our prayers because the location is more convenient. However, as Darul Arqam’s restroom and musolla were closed for renovations, we headed on to Masjid Khalid, which is a little far in, a 5-minutes walk from Darul Arqam.

One door closes, another one opens

As I was sitting in the mosque after my prayers, it made me ponder on several things. If not for DA’s musolla renovations, we wouldn’t have walked to Masjid Khalid for our Asar prayers. It made me reflect that MaashaAllah, this is a good illustration of how when one door closes, another one opens. Truly, Allah is The Opener. The One who opens hearts, doors and everything else.

It also goes to show that Allah wants to give us more pahala because for every step you take to do ibadah, like going to a mosque, Allah rewards your every step. So, the more distance you walk to the mosque, the more pahala you get. That’s because Allah is Al-Kareem, the Most Generous and He gives most generously. SubhanAllah.

Last but not least, it feels like Allah wanted us to step into another of His houses SubhanAllah. You know when you’re invited to someone’s house, you feel honored for being invited? (Assuming that’s how you feel most of the time of course 😉 ). So when Allah wants to invite you to His house, shouldn’t we feel more honored and accept it with open hearts? 🙂

May Allah bless us with more moments of peace and tranquility… and may we be blessed with the peace and tranquility that we seek in this life and the Hereafter, InsyaAllah.

Rezekiku dan Rezekimu Semuanya Rahsia Allah

“Sesungguhnya di kalangan hamba-hamba-Ku ada yang keadaannya itu baik dalam keadaan kaya, kalau Aku menjadikannya miskin akan rosaklah keadaannya, dan ada pula antara hamba-Ku yang keadaannya itu baik jika dalam keadaan miskin, kalau Aku menjadikannya kaya akan rosaklah keadaannya, dan ada daripada hamba-hamba-Ku yang keadaannya baik jika dalam keadaan sihat, kalau aku menjadikannya sakit akan rosaklah keadannya, dan ada di kalangan hamba-hamba-Ku yang keadaannya baik jika dalam keadaan sakit, kalau Aku menyembuhkannya akan rosaklah keadaannya.”

(Riwayat Abi Dunya dan Baihaqi)

Mencari Ilmu Bersama Walau Perjuangan Berbeza

Note: Blog entry is in Malay language today.

sl2-2a muslimahs
Bersama Ustazah Majidah (di tengah, dalam tudung putih labuh), guru ilmu fiqh kami.

Minggu lalu kelasku yang terakhir buat semester ini. Semester ini, kami mempelajari ilmu tasauf, serta sambungan ulum quran dan fiqh munakahat dari semester yang lepas. Menghadiri kelas di madrasah aljunied setiap minggu walaupun kekadang sukar dan penuh cubaan, sesuatu yang menyeronokkan terutama sekali apabila bertemu dengan teman-teman seperjuangan yang gigih menimba ilmu setiap pagi Ahad.

Semakin aku belajar, semakin banyak yang aku tidak tahu…

Aku kagum dengan semangat teman-teman yang seusia dengan ibuku tekun mencari ilmu dalam usia senja, serta salah seorang temanku yang baru melahirkan anak pertamanya akhir tahun lalu tetapi cekal menghadiri kelas setiap minggu. Terima kasih Allah, kerana memberiku peluang mengenali hamba-hambamu yang istimewa ini.

“Seseorang itu sentiasa menurut kelakuan temannya, maka hendaklah seseorang kamu memerhatikan siapa yang dia berkawan dengannya.” (Riwayat Tirmizi)

Pada permulaan semester, aku seorang muslimah yang belum berumahtangga. Tetapi di akhir semester pula, aku sudah bergelar seorang isteri. Ada seribu satu perasaan yang bermain di minda apabila mengenangkan pernikahanku, yang telah berlaku dalam masa enam bulan ini. Bagaikan mimpi tetapi ia adalah suatu realiti. Aku tersenyum dan juga memikir panjang. MaashaAllah, suatu perubahan yang besar dalam hidupku.

Aku sedar perkahwinan adalah satu amanah dari Allah s.w.t, dan insyaAllah akan ku pelihara amanah ini dengan seerat-eratnya dengan kasih sayangNya.

Ahad depan dan yang seterusnya merupakan minggu-minggu peperiksaan pula. Setelah itu, kelas berhenti buat sementara waktu untuk cuti dan semester baru akan berlangsung pada akhir bulan Jun insyaAllah. Semoga Allah mempermudahkan urusan peperiksaan kami, dan menerangkan hati serta meluaskan minda kami insyaAllah.

Kepada yang membaca, mohon du’a ya! 🙂

Sisterly Fitness Camp by Muslimah-in-mind

sisterly fitness camp

Alhamdulillah so last Wednesday-Thursday on Labour Day holiday I attended the Sisterly Fitness Camp (SFC) held at Al-Khair Mosque. It’s been a long time since I attended any camps at all so when my Saff sisters asked me along, I thought okay let’s do this together. Furthermore the word fitness caught my eye – the thing about exercising is, I need buddies! Who’s with me? Hehe. 😀

The all-women 2D1N camp started off with a complimentary health check, followed by a wellness talk by Dr Rauzanah Affandi, a medical doctor who has worked at SGH and KKH previously, a qiyamullail (night prayer), and then a 4.4 km outdoor trail from Masjid Al-Khair to Choa Chu Kang Park the following day. The message of the camp was not just about being fit but about comprehensive wellness and being healthy as a whole, be it taking care of your diet, mental and physical health, as well as intellectual and spiritual wellbeing.

Extracted from the Muslimah-in-mind website, the aims of the camp;

“Islam takes a holistic approach to health.  Just as religious life is inseparable from secular life, physical, emotional and spiritual health cannot be separated; they are three parts that make a completely healthy person.

A true believer recognises the wonder of the human body and is grateful to the Creator.  This gratitude is shown in the care and attention given to maintaining optimum health.  Islam’s holistic approach to health covers all aspects of the mind, body and soul.  A truly health conscious person blends diet, nutrition and exercise with the remembrance of God and an intention to fulfil all their religious obligations.

Prophet Muhammad s.a.w said, 
A strong believer is better than a weak believer.”  

He was talking in terms of faith and character, but also indicating that physical strength (optimum health and fitness) were desirable, and that God has given us ways and means to attain such strength. Islam’s holistic approach to life and thus health offers us the ability to remain strong and healthy.

Thus, the Sisterly Fitness Camp (SFC) aims to instill a love for keeping fit, with suggestions on how to sustain a healthy and fit lifestyle suitable for the Muslimah.”

Health Talk: Total Wellness for the Muslimah ~ Intellectual Wellness

Dr Rauzanah started off the talk by showing us a video entitled “Make Health Last. What will the last 10 years of your life look like?” by The Heart and Stroke Foundation. Not to start off with a grim topic she says, but she wanted us to open our eyes to the realities of our current health statuses as the video highlighted that the average Canadian will spend their last ten years in sickness instead of being healthy. Dr Rauzanah also mentioned that in her daily work at hospitals, she is seeing more and younger patients with major illnesses and this is a worrying concern. I must admit that seeing that video made me think of how my golden age will be like, and silently made a goal to start living life healthier by eating the right foods more and inculcating more exercise in my daily life. Afterall, you reap what you sow and you are what you eat, and your stomach is where most diseases start to develop.

Among the things she highlighted were the different components of wellness that a Muslimah generally has in her life. Three aspects she covered were intellectual wellness, spiritual wellness and physical wellness. These different aspects of wellness are vital as part of our lives as Muslimahs busy with the many commitments that we have, be it work, marriage, children and community just to name a few. She also brought up the 3333 diet, which goes by the ideal intake of food to consist of 3 parts vegetables, 3 parts fruit, 3 parts protein, 3 parts grain and carbohydrates – divided into 3 meals per day. How do you measure the right proportion? By using the size of your fist as a guide. In addition, she also emphasized on the importance of getting enough sleep daily.

Tadabbur and Tahajjud ~ Spiritual Wellness

keep calm n qiyam

After the talk, we prayed Isyak in congregation led by Ustazah Rusydah. Then, we were divided into groups of 12 persons each (there were 4 groups in total) and after a short ta’aruf (getting to know each other), we read several paragraphs of 3 different surahs together. They were surah An-An’am; verses 161-165, An-Nahl; verses 65-72 and Al-Furqan; verses 63-77. This was then followed by a light supper, and lights out by 11.30 pm as we were to wake up by 4.30 am for our tahajjud session together.

The tahajjud prayer is a voluntary night prayer that you can do after Isyak until before Subuh, and you can do it individually or in congregation. To me, both ways have different impact on yourself and both ways are good. When you do your night prayers alone, your time with God is truly a personal and intimate one, whereas when you do it in jemaah, you feel a sense of togetherness as a community that is striving to become better Muslims as a group effort. And that is truly a beautiful feeling MaashaAllah.

The tahajjud prayer was led by Ustazah Hafizah, followed by witr prayer led by Ustazah Azhani. And then Ustazah Mariyam led a munajat session (an intimate prayer) afterwards. After our qiyam ended, we got ready for Subuh, praying with the mosque as a jemaah. By 6.30 am, we gathered in our groups again and had a light breakfast as well as reflections on the verses we recited the night before. My group did a reflection on surah Al-Furqan verses 63-77, which were about the qualities and characteristics of being gracious servants of God, and MaashaAllah I learned a lot from the sharings and reflections from the sisters. If I had recited and tadabbur (reflections) on my own, I would never have obtained the many different additional insights that I got. This is the power of sharings and doing things together, Alhamdulillah.

Exciting Outdoor Trail ~ Physical Wellness

fit believer

Then we gathered outside of the mosque for a warm-up before our walk, which was led by Habibah Najihahbi who is also our resident national sprinter. At 7.30 am, we started off our walk. It was a cloudy day, with the sun peeking out every now and then. We made our way in groups and enjoyed the morning air. It was a relaxing leisurely walk with great company of like-minded sisters MaashaAllah. Along the way, the sight of tables set-up with 100 plus and water replenishments made me feel wondrous! Halfway through the walk, it started to drizzle and then it slowly started to get heavier. But instead of stopping, we just took our ponchos and marched on. Rain is after all a blessing from Allah s.w.t. and what better way to beat the morning blues than working our bodies out. No prizes for guessing what I would have done if I was at home, in that cooling weather in the pouring rain…

Alhamdulillah, the rain slowly subsided towards the end of our walk and we managed to reach Choa Chu Kang Park in slightly less than 2 hours. We received a goodie bag at the entrance of the hut we gathered in where we had a short reflection on the walk and the whole camp. For my group, we reflected that because we walked together and were talking and bonding during the walk, we were able to have fun and managed to finish before the stipulated time. We also reflected that when you do things collectively, such as your ibadah, workout, trying to eat healthy together, InsyaAllah the results will be a different impact than if you were to do it alone. Afterall, God did not create us alone in this world. He created so many of us, each with different personalities, capabilities and temperaments so we can collaborate beautifully and create amazing things together SubhanAllah.

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All smiles through the rain!

Alhamdulillah it was a wonderful experience and I thank the organisers for their time and energy in planning and preparing for the SFC. May Allah bless your efforts, InsyaAllah. I also love that the camp consisted of Muslimahs of all ages. Looking forward to more fit and fab activities with the sisters InsyaAllah! 🙂

muslimah-in-mind_sisters
The whole group of sisters who attended the camp 🙂

For more details on Muslimah-in-Mind, head on to their website at: www.muslimahinmind.org

Happiness is Knowing that God is Always There For You

I previously mentioned that my family went to a seminar in KL by Prof Dr Muhaya. Well, the planning was not smooth sailing; there were some challenges but Alhamdulillah, Allah made it possible. Here’s what happened in the morning of the trip.

“Oh no, we’re late!”

I had just woken up. The ringing alarm clock showed the current time of 6.30 am, the time that we were supposed to already be at Golden Mile Complex where our bus to Kuala Lumpur was scheduled to leave at 7.01 am. Panicking, I woke my mum and sis up and scrambled to shower as fast as a lightning bolt.

“We still have time,” assured my mum, after she had finished her Subuh prayer.

I called a taxi soon and it arrived within minutes. I went downstairs first to meet the taxi driver and asked him to wait. After 10 minutes, my mum and sis still had not came down. I called them up and my mum told me she was waiting for my sis to finish praying Subuh. Suddenly, I turned to see the taxi driver zooming off without even informing me.

“Uncle! Come back!” I shouted.

But it was of no use. I guess he was impatient. Stupid taxi driver, I thought. So unkind. Couldn’t you at least let me know before leaving? I grumbled silently. My mum and sis finally came down a million hours later and we proceeded to hail a cab which fortunately came within seconds. Thankfully, we did not have to wait.

However when we arrived, we were 10 minutes late. The lady at the counter said, “I’m sorry but your bus has already taken off. You need to buy new tickers for the next bus.” My heart sank. There goes my money, I thought. It seemed like we had no other choice. We couldn’t just leave. Upset, I told my mum to handle the payments because there was no way I was going to pay for the bus tickets again.

Just then, just as she had selected the new seats (which were more expensive than the online rates I had paid for) and was about to pay, my phone rang.

“Hey, I’m from Starmart. Where in the world are you?! The bus is going to move off already!” Said the voice of an Indian lady from the other end.

Whoa…what?! It was the bus lady from the bus service I had booked from. They’re still here! They haven’t left! OMG!

“Go go go! They must be at the far end! Go quickly!” Told the lady at the counter, who was about to process the new tickets payment just seconds before, upon hearing my latest call.

At the speed of light, the three of us hurriedly scrambled to the far end of the Complex in search of our bus. The problem was, we didn’t know the plate number as it wasn’t stated in my online bus ticket neither did the counter lady inform us, having rushed us off. We saw a Starmart bus but it wasn’t our bus. Finally. I saw the lady who looks to be the one who called me, standing beside our bus. Our bus! Which had not yet left!

“Aiyo…three of you right?” She grumbled as she confirmed our details and assigned us to another bus nearby. Turns out that it wasn’t the bus I had originally booked – in fact, it was a bus from a different company, but hey I’ll take what I can get seeing the circumstances. At that point, our original bus had just left. Perhaps they had assigned our seats to someone else. Or perhaps they just don’t bother with latecomers like us.

Whatever the reason was, I never checked. I was just grateful, and so were my mum and sis, as we proceeded to board the bus, quietly ignoring stares from other passengers and showing them our most “I’m sorry we held you up” expressions along with sheepish smiles all the way to our seats which had the novel inconvenience of being at the far back.

Thank you Allah, for this miracle. We missed the bus and almost had to get new tickets, but you saved us and our money – Your money, to be more precise.

Thank you to my mum and sis who did not miss to perform their Subuh prayers even though we were running late. Never underestimate the power of prayers.

Thank you Allah for making the Indian bus lady from Starmart call me.

Thank you Allah for reserving the space for us in the bus, even if it is a different one.

Truly God is with those who seek knowledge. Alhamdulillah! 

Daily Prompt: Happy Happy Joy Joy