Choosing To Be And Stay Happy

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5 Things I’m thankful for today:

1. I’m thankful to be getting married to my wonderful musician, IT-geek fiancé (I still find it weird to call him my fiancé, can you imagine calling him, err, my husband? Feels so “adult”… I knew him since 6 years ago in polytechnic back when we were in our late teenage years so sometimes it feels surreal that we are actually getting married soon (it does not help that we are both leaning on the petite sized spectrum). There are times when I am frustrated over the wedding plans and things not happening the way I want it to be… But I am reminding myself to be thankful for these moments and embrace it insyaAllah. After all, like Ameera from Muzlimbuzz says, the challenges are necessary.

2. I’m thankful I was able to perform my umrah, or mini pilgrimage in 2009. It is Hajj season now and due to the current renovations happening in Makkah causing space constraints in the areas of the Masjidil Haram, the quota for pilgrims this year has shrunk tremendously. The impact this brings to a small country like Singapore is that many would have to wait for a long queue – at least 5 years – despite having sufficient amount of savings and preparations for Hajj. Even though I have not done my Hajj, I am thankful that at least God gave me the opportunity to step into the sacred lands of Makkah and Madinah. Even though it was only for a short period of time (13 days), for me it was the most memorable trip of a lifetime.

3. I’m thankful for my cats. As I am typing this, Kak Long is sitting on my lap about to doze off soon. Having cats made me see that even cats have feelings and their own personalities. I have 4 cats at home and they couldn’t be any more different despite having the same DNA. And having cats gives you the opportunity to do good deeds, as taking care of animals are considered good deeds as well. That was why Abu Hurairah r.a., the Prophet’s companion decided to keep cats as pets. His name “Abu Hurairah” is actually a title given by the Prophet s.a.w. which means “Father of Cats” because he always had a cat following him wherever he went!

4. I’m thankful for my Don’t Be Sad classes every Tuesday nights. I always look forward to the class after a long day at work, especially if the day happened to have had some problems or issues that could give me a headache. Last Tuesday, Ustaz went through with us the contents and meanings of Surah Ad-Dhuha, which means “Morning Light”. In it he reminds us that Allah can overturn one’s condition as He is the One who provides all sustenance. And that the Hereafter will be better than the present…

5. I’m thankful for coming across this saying, “Wealth is not determined by abundance of possessions, but wealth is the richness of the soul.” As human beings we don’t consciously choose to be happy so it is a conscious effort to be happy *and* stay happy. The best thing is that we forget sometimes we don’t have to have much to be happy. I’m choosing happiness, and so should you! 🙂

Solace at Holland Village Mosque

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I’m going to miss this mosque.

At the end of this year, the mosque is going to be demolished as it is not renewing its yearly lease. The mosque has been on a lease renewal basis for the past ten years. (For more details on this mosque and its recent developments, read Fadhuli Taufek’s post on his trip to the mosque).

What this mosque means to me

I’ve heard of the mosque (masjid in Malay) before, but never really knew where it was and never really bothered to find out, until I started working in Buona Vista area two years ago. I was also expecting a prominent building when I was looking for the masjid but was surprised to see a tiny little mosque tucked near the carpark area. I was like, whoa. There is actually a mosque. Here. In this place surrounded by restaurants and bars.

Solace in the business of life
Located among the unlikely.. Solace among the business of life.

My office has a room for prayer though not a musolla per se so I usually do my Zuhur and Asar prayers there. But sometimes, nothing beats going to the mosque during lunch hour for Zuhur and taking a break from the workplace. Over time, the mosque has become my cozy safe place, with its kampung style layout, where I can go have my conversation with God without feeling self-conscious and thinking about work (as compared to praying at my office musolla).

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The entrance to the masjid. Feels just like your house door…

I remembered once or twice when I was so stressed up with work and decided to go to the mosque and just cry it out to Allah. You know, those times when you just want to be alone. MashaAllah. It was here that my broken heart was healed many a times in this safe cozy place.

It was also here that I have fond memories of collecting bubur masjid during lunch time in the month of Ramadhan. Sometimes instead of doing my own thing at work during Ramadhan lunchtime I would go to the mosque for some alone time. And since the mosque starts distributing bubur masjid at lunch time to cater to the working crowd, I would always look out for it.

The bubur masjid corner.
The bubur masjid corner.

I will miss this mosque dearly. The day of our departure is coming. This mosque will always have a special place in my heart.