Thursday, December 19, 2013

How a vlog changed my life

This is the vlog that changed my life.


To be honest I don't even remember what they said in the video. I probably didn't even finish watching the whole video. I couldn't remember. I was 16 or 17 when I watched it. But this video is the asbaab of where I am now and the asbaab behind what I am doing now.

Before this video, I thought I was a rather religious person. I wore the hijab, I prayed, I read the Quran and do a bunch of stuff which made people label me as a 'practicing muslim'. But inside, I was really empty and I was Jaahil. I just follow everything blindly. It's called taaqlid; to be exact.   

Before I watched the video, I NEVER listen to Islamic lecture out of my own free will. The only times I listened to them was if my mum calls me to listen to them, or if the school invited someone to give an islamic talk. 

So I watched the vlog, and sister Nye recommended to listen to brother Nouman Ali Khan. And so I did. and that made me fall head over heels to the Quran. When I was 15, I read Imam Ghazali's Ihya' Ulumuddin, it was a summarized version, I was really influenced by it a lot and I used to think it was the greatest book in the whole wide world. When I watch Nouman Ali Khan's lectures, he always just have one book in his hand. The Quran. Before I was introduced to him, I would read the translation of the Quran, but I don't understand it at all. But when I watched his lectures, I realised that Ihya' Ulumuddin was derived from The Quran (and sunnah). (like of course right? when I look back I always say 'duhh' to myself. lol)  And then I got addicted to listening to him, I would play his lecture whenever possible. I'd listen to his lectures while I'm doing the dishes, or making cakes. I even downloaded his lectures to my phone. Then I started to listen to other lectures from other sheikhs and ustadhs. And I immediately got hooked. I really looked up to them. I felt like 'wow, my dream is to be like you guys. To have that level of understanding of Islam like all of these muslim speakers, to dedicate my life to Islam. To build a school or an institute or something'.

And that made me decide to study Islam. Before that I wanted to study english or graphic design. Starting from that single video from sister Nye and sister Rebecca (both are muslim reverts), Alhamdulillah, I am now in the path of studying Islam.

Now here is what I want to share with all of you. This seems like a very simple video. I didn't even watch it until the end. But it changed my life. What we can learn from here is to never hesitate to share anything good. Because you'll never know who'll gain the benefit from it.

You don't have to wait to give da'wah. Don't have to wait until you're perfect because you'll never be. It's perfectly okay for you, to invite people to good now. When people point your mistakes, those are actually blessings and that's one of the ways where you will improve yourself and become a better person In sha Allah. So don't be afraid to share anything good and never underestimate the power of inviting people to good. No matter how small it might seem. 

However, keep in mind that calling people to good MUST be simultaneous with seeking knowledge.  okie dokes folks?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

I want a better Malaysia

19 years ago, when I was 5 days old, I was diagnosed with ASD and VSD (Jantung Berlubang). My condition was getting worse so the doctors decided to perform an open heart surgery to me. I was 9 month old. Alhamdulillah the surgery went well. (Obviously, otherwise I wouldn't be here) Thumma Alhamdulillah, the surgery was free of charge. Yes, we paid absolutely nothing for it. The government even provided us with a nanny, to help around the house and to send my 5 older brothers and sisters to school, while my mum took care of me until I recover.

Now, 19 years later, (that's almost 2 decades!) it breaks my heart all the time when I see parents asking for RM30k to pay for their child's open heart surgery, who had jantung berlubang just as I did. Why? Because these children were born in Malaysia and I was born in the United Kingdom.

I don't have a UK citizenship. We were foreigners. We were treated regardless.

Alhamdulillah, I have been given the privilege to travel to various different countries. I have seen how things are really like in both the third world countries as well as how things are like in developed countries. From the symphony of car honks in Bangladesh to the United Kingdom's efficient tube station, I feel blessed to live in Malaysia but at the same time, I wonder how come there is so little change during the 17 years I live in Malaysia.

Yes, 17 years ago, we didn't have KLCC, we didn't have SMART tunnel, we didn't have the monorail, we didn't have the beautiful Putrajaya. If we look at the surface of Malaysia - literally - as in if you look at Malaysia from an aeroplane window, we are at par to most of the developed countries.But if you walk in the streets, go into the hospitals, go into the classrooms, go into the homes, go into the libraries and go into the minds of Malaysians, you'll see that we are so far from what we appear to be.

This is why I want a better Malaysia.

We are 7 years away from the year 2020. We are supposedly 7 years away from becoming a 'developed' nation.But, we are in billions of ringgits of debt yet people still have to pay for their dying's child surgery - which they couldn't even afford! Where did the money go?

During a monday morning, in one of IJN's outpatient clinic, a one-legged man had to stand to wait to see the doctor because there weren't any seats available for him. We don't have enough doctors, our doctors are overworked and underpaid. That is why most of them are so grumpy all the time. (Don't try me, I've seen enough doctors to come up with that conclusion)

The majority of our SPM leavers have no clue what they want to pursue in their life, 7 year old kids in developed countries dream of becoming aerenotical engineers, software engineers, zoologists, microbiologists, historians, journalists, teachers, astrophysicists. Our education system is so flawed I have no words to describe it. Why do I say that? Because 90% of school students want to be doctors, because they have no idea what they're learning and why they are learning it, they have no idea what they want to do with their future. I'm not even going to mention the whole PPSMI issue. We were treated like guinea pigs, learning science and mathematics in english, and then in malay, and then in english again, and then in malay again. Have you ever been in a Malaysian classroom? Did you realise how the majority of the students never ask any questions? I don't know why and how that happened but that's gotta change. 

If you walk in the streets of Malaysia, you can see people spitting, people throwing rubbish everywhere, people cutting queues, cashiers and salesgirl giving you a bad day with their bad attitude towards you. You can see unethical behavior and low class mentality soo easily in Malaysia. In developed countries you can rarely see those things. Their social ethics and awareness is way above ours. They smile at you, they don't roll their eyes if you put back the t-shirt you unfolded which you decided not to buy, they don't cut queues, you can close your eyes crossing at the zebra crossing, they don't throw rubbish in the streets, their toilets are clean. They rode bicycles to work, their drivers actually obey the law. In developed countries, their shops and products have a 30 day return policies. In Malaysia, most of the stores doesn't even have a return policy. We need to develop Malaysians more than we need to develop Malaysia. 

I'm not even going to go to our public transportation, the social illnesses, the crime rates and the corruptions. There are so many things we need to improve. One cannot be thankful to those who are not carrying out their responsibility responsibly. The government holds a HUGE responsibility, and they are not doing good enough. 

Perhaps if we compare things nowadays with how things are 56 years back, sure, we've come a long way since. Alhamdulillah for that. But if you compare how things are now and how things are two decades ago,there isn't much difference. I guess that explains why the majority of our older generation have an opposing political stance than most of us youth. Our parents have witness a better Malaysia throughout their lives, but us youth, haven't.

I don't care who is going to rule Malaysia, but I demand for a better Malaysia. And all of us should take part in that. Not just the government.

I am 19, too bad, I cannot vote. But I can do something better than that. I can pray, and I can make little changes. If all of us make small changes to the things we wish could be better, then we will have a better Malaysia in no time.

'.....Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they can change what is in themselves........'  [13:11]

'Be the change you want to see in the world' - Mahatma Gandhi

P/S : I wish for a change this coming election, but remember, Allah made the things the way they were and he had already planned for what is to come. Sowhatever happens,  just keep calm and pray for a better Malaysia. (After you've done your part that is)

Monday, April 29, 2013

The perks of wearing abayas

Recently I decided to only wear abayas. and it was such a liberating decision.

Being an impulsive buyer, I tend to waste money on buying clothes/shoes/bags I never wear. Now when I go to shopping malls and walk into clothing stores, I'd be like 'wow, I have nothing to buy!'

There's a lot of benefits of wearing abayas (or jubahs for that matter)

1. It's convenient - you don't have to waste time to think of what to wear it with. Just put it on and pick whatever hijab because black goes with anything.

2. Stress-free - You know sometimes when you wear a blouse with a skirt/jeans you're afraid your blouse might get stuck to the waist part of your skirt/jeans and it will show off your butt? (forgive my language) that never happens with an abaya :D (it's even perfectly fine if you're walking up the stairs and there's a guy behind you!)

3. Saves money (more like curbs your desire to buy clothing accessories lol) - I used to have several different bags and several different shoes to match my outfit. Now I only use one basic black bag and one pair of jelly flats. Life is so much simpler mashaaAllah ;p

4. It's comfortable - come on now, abayas are really comfortable. No need for further explanation.

5. It makes you look thin - It does. Trust me.

6. If you get married and get pregnant, you don't have to buy maternity clothes. (or nursing clothes because a lot of abayas have the button in the middle kinda thing)

7. You look ready for any occasion - Just got back from the supermarket? You realise there's a wedding you need to attend? No worries, abayas are suitable for every occasion.

8. You don't need telekung - Let's face it, we feel weird praying with jeans on or with a maxi dress that clinches at the waist right? With abayas you don't need no telekung :) (tp kena pakai handsocks and socks la)

9. You won't become a slave of fashion - You don't have to buy the latest peplum top or tribal motived top if you wear abayas. The main function of a piece of clothing is to cover you. Nothing less, nothing more. Fashion is an unnecessary thing that would make your love to this Dunia increase, that's not a good thing for the heart of muslim.

Fashion, although most people feel that it is okay, can be very harmful iman-wise because of the wordliness of it. How many girls long to own an LV bag, or even that high heel from forever 21 or even that cute hijab from an online shop? Is it necessary? Do we need it? We don't. If we have enough clothes to wear (more than 7 pieces, considering if it might take you a week to recycle your clothes, than we really don't need to buy more). Before I made this decision, I used to waste a lot of time looking at fashionable people or looking for inspiration from hollywood celebrities and all that. That is actually sad if you think of it, because our time is limited in this world and our aim is to seek for Allah's pleasure. Klu membazir2 masa mcm tu rasa mcm sgtlah rugi. (disclaimer : I still need to work on this area. I have yet not succeed in detaching myself from my worldly desires. But fear not! when there is Allah! there is a way!)

I just feel the need to promote abayas since a lot of people don't wear it on a regular basis (especially if you're not a student of UIA nor a citizen of bangi) I just want to add the amount of people wearing abayas so that it becomes common. Because sometimes when I go to places where people don't usually wear abayas people would look at me as if they're saying in their heads 'hmm.. I wonder where she just got back from?'

This is just an iklan. Just a friendly promotion ^^ kalau xnk it's perfectly fine. And no, it's not haraam to buy more clothes if you can afford it. But there's definitely a lot of bad consequences from it.

Because every muslim girl needs and LBD

Monday, April 15, 2013

Darul Quran Interview. Temuduga Darul Quran

Assalamualaikum everybody.

On March I applied for an interview with Darul Quran and Alhamdulillah I was called for the interview. So here I will be sharing my experience in this blog. So that other applicants in the future may prepare themselves well for the interview.

So the interview was on Thurday, 11th april. The interview was held at Darul Quran Jakim, Kuala Kubu Baru. Which is a 2 and a half hour journey from my home. We left at 5.00 in the moring and arrived around 7.40. There are other venues for the interviews as well, so don't worry if you're not from Selangor.

At 8.30 the registration started. You just have to sign your name. Then they direct me to a hall and there we took an objective test which consists of 80 questions. (There were around 250 people or more)

30 of those are arabic questions which consist of nahw, sorof and balaaghah. Which I can honestly say was harder than SPM and I believe I did very poorly in that section. Another 30 questions is on Tajweed and it asks about all the tajwid stuff including about Makhraj and sifaatul huruuf. I think I did okay in that section because my ustaz gave us a crash course and finish the whole tajweed text book in two weeks haha. and another 20 questions was called psychology, which I believe was made to see how well prepared and how much passion and how much the student wants to enter Darul Quran.

Some of the questions asked that I could remember were.

'Darul Quran sama baik dengan IPTA'
'Saya tidak akan mengubah keputusan yang saya telah lakukan'
'Saya akan memberi tumpuan yang lebih kepada Al-Quran'

The options given were only yes or no.

After the test, we went to another building which was like their classrooms. And the room was empty and there will be one panel from Darul Quran in there.

When I was called I went into the room and there was an ustazah who was very warm and friendly. And she told me to open page 352 (everyone have to recite the same page as well) and recite the whole page within an hour. She advised to look for a remote place to recite it.

Then I went downstairs and took out a chair and sat on the corridor with my body facing the wall to avoid any distractions.

I managed to recite the whole page in 45 minutes or so and used the rest of the time to repeat it. I'm not really used to reciting that much amount of verses within that period of time. I usually take it really slowly by reciting one verse at a time, repeat it 40 times and repeat the verse and the four previous verse along with it for another 40 times. And I would read the verse properly and not speed things up. My ustadh advised me to recite that way. and it is SLOW I'm tellin ya. I usually will just get one verse within an hour and sometimes it takes 2 hours to get one verse. But the good thing about that is that, the verse is going to stay permanently in your brain and in your heart InshaaAllah. So reciting one page in an hour for me is kind of crazy. But the human brain is capable of so many things and if you put your trust in Allah, InshaaAllah you can do it.

So at that time I remembered it pretty well, but it wasn't very smooth though. Sometimes I got confused about the baris haha. But when I went in to tasmi' with the ustadhah. Everything went wrong sadly. I was shocked by the echo of my voice and I got stuck probably like 7-9 times. It was SOO BAD!

After I finished tasmi' the ustadhah said 'Result SPM bagus, mungkin awak lebih sesuai bidang lain' and I told her that was two years ago, that I am older then the rest of the other prospect students here, I couldn't apply anything anymore, I was rejected, now I am taking STAM, I really want to take on Islamic studies, bla3.

And the ustadhah felt sorry for me because she knew I want to study in Darul Quran pretty badly based on what I wrote on my application and based on what I said to her. And she told me, in Darul Quran usually they recite 2-3 pages per day and they would recite it very smoothly. I remembered her exact quote 'baca macam air' and she told me 'jangan mengharap sangatlah, banyak saingan yg lain lagi' (she said it very nicely btw) and she said 'kalau saya bantu pun saya takut awak rasa rendah diri dengan kawan2 lain' to which I replied 'Xpe, saya lagi suka kalau rasa rendah diri, lagi kita akan berusaha betul2' and she asked me some other questions. And that was the end of it.

I have a feeling I'm not gonna get it. The result for the interview is this 22nd april. Who am I kidding? I'm not fit for Darul Quran. The students there are like really amazing and disciplined. I don't know, the way the ustadhah responded sends me a message that I will not fit there. But it's okay. I'll be okay with anything that might happen InshaaAllah. I've dealt with rejection before, and I've learnt that Allah knows what's best for you :)

I hope that was helpful. If you are applying for an interview or anything of the like that you want really badly, and you're not yet sure about the result just remember that whatever the result is, it is the best for you. Because that is what Allah wants for you.