The Lesson from Surah Al Kahf (^^)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Bismillah...

This is actually taken from my facebook status this weekend... It's as long as my blog post kan..? Enjoy!


"Last night, I posted a link about the message of surah Al Kahf... Which was long... That I actually just finished it today and what I learned was utterly fascinating and I'm very compelled to summarize it in one status.. Here goes!

Every chapter of the Al Quran actually has a theme. Meaning to say that there is a central matter that is being focused in every chapter. So for surah Al Kahf the key message is overcoming trials in which it has been described by the depiction of 4 stories; the people of the cave or also knowm as ashabul kahf, the man with the two gardens, Musa's a.s. journey & the story of Zulkarnain...

Trials of Iman
Ashabul kahf were pious youths that lived in a time of shirk and the ruler would persecute those who believed in God. Despite being threatened for their Iman, these youths stood firm with their belief and as a result Allah protected them from the cruel ruler by giving them refuge in a cave where they fell asleep and woke up hundreds of years later...

This shows that Allah shows mercy to those who firmly believe and that's why we see how The Prophet and the companions were given victories despite all odds.

Trials of wealth.
The story is about a man who  was blessed with a very fruitful garden and he didn't have to work hard for that because there was a flowing river in between his two gardens. But this have made him arrogant and he belittled those who are poorer. He also thought that all these blessings that he has in the dunya proves that Allah preferred him than others and he will gain more in the akhira.. But he was wrong..

The wealth and the ease gained in this world does  not describe Allah's pleasure or displeasure. Rather it's a test to examine our belief, action and character...

Trials of knowledge
The story of Prophet Musa's journey actually tells us how such a great Messenger was being taught by Allah about humbleness and humility.

Knowledge, despite of its vast benefit could also lead to evil if it is misused, and if it leads to pride and arrogance

Trials of power
This was described in the story of the great conquerer Zulkarnain. Although he'd conquered the east and lands between the east tand west, he still had an unwavering taqwa which made him just and compassionate although he was such a powerful ruler of his time..

How does the surah connects to the protection from the dajal? Because it is through these types of trials will the dajal make the
people of his time go astray... And Allah have taught us how to protect ourselves from the dajal through this surah...

Okay panjang jugak! Hehe tapi panjang lagi artikel itu!
Isn't it beautiful once we discovered the real message behind every surah rather than just reciting word by word without being able to decipher and ponder?

It's mind blowing! And rasa aaaargh!!!! sikit nya ilmu di dada!!!!

I hope we all can benefit from this. N lets go to work!"



Written....

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Bismillah...

I've so much to tell yet have so little time to write these days. But I'm trying to keep this blog updated as often as I could.. So for the past few months I've been traveling a lot. I was in Ilm Fest in one weekend, I was in a best friend's wedding in the next and spent 8 days in Africa after that. And finally I went to the Rain Forest Music Festival, a yearly event held in Kuching, Sarawak.

Alhamdulillah.. I'm still breathing for another Ramadhan, a month full of blessings and forgiveness.. This evening I watched a video in one of the channel I subscribed on YouTube. It was about two companions who had come to the Prophet to embrace Islam. Both lived as good Muslims but one had died as a martyr in one of the holy wars. And the other one died a year later. One night, another companion dreamed about the two men; the angel had taken the one who had died later first into Jannah and only came again later for the martyr. The companion who had the dream was so amazed that he thought, "What could have this man who had been taken first to Jannah had done during his life to have surpassed a martyr?". So he went to the Prophet for an answer. And the Prophet said,

"It was because the other man had another year of Ramadhan in which he had filled the month full with sincere Ibadah..."

Upon listening to this, I can't help but feel lucky to have the chance to still be alive for my 27th Ramadhan. Out of the 27, I think I'd spent at least 12 as a child and several more with little understanding of what Ramadhan  is really about besides refraining oneself from eating and drinking and doing what is forbidden during the day to sunset. There were even years during my teenage years where I'd listed a lot of excuses to not go for Taraweeh. To think about it, having given the time and enlightenment to improve in each coming Ramadhan is one of the greatest Nikmah ever...


On this month, we can't help but thought of the people who had gone before us.. I have been thinking a lot about Nurul too.. When I was back in Labuan last weekend, Ucu showed me a picture of her doing a performance on stage in one of her primary school magazine. Ever since, I have been thinking a lot about how is she doing 'there'? I do think that is rather ironic, though. Ideally, I should be more concern of my own preparation to go 'there', shouldn't I? But I think it's just normal for a big sis to be worried once in a while..



It's the second Ramadhan without Nurul.. We are already accustomed to her absence but life has never been the same since to any of us in the family. Her room is left untouched from the day she left for university. I would sometime sneak into her room in the middle of the night when everybody is already asleep; just stood there, look around and relive the memories we used to have in that room. Pijah and I agreed that Nurul's passing is the greatest reminder of all. It reminds us that the young can 'leave' earlier than the old. Then why should we fall short in Ibadah compared to the old? It reminds us that no matter to what degree our success and failures are in this world, the end destination is still the same for each and every individual that is to return to the Creator...

Yesterday was my 4th anniversary working in my current setting. And Z text me saying...



Yup.. Things have been undeniably turned 360 degrees which made me believe that no matter how hard things are in the very beginning, it will turn out just fine in the end provided we believe in what Allah have written for us and stay strong.

When it comes to my current career, the journey had started tearful because this was not what I initially wanted. Then my degree years goes by easily. I scored in most subjects without much effort but had to struggle a little bit in third year when the subjects were mostly about formulating pharmaceutical products. The shapes and structures of the molecules are just beyond my grasp. Then came the working years which started slightly bumpy. I once failed to respond in a timely manner to a distress call during my training years and the toughest would be the months when I had to be in charge of the department. A vicious cycle of meeting other people's expectations, problem solving and decision making.



But all in all, those are the tough moments that had shaped me into what I am now. Don't get me wrong, I'm still in the process of learning but I had somehow improved in certain areas. I'm more composed when faced with a tough situation. Now I know how to prioritize and organize my tasks according to their urgency and importance. And best of all, I finally figure out how to balance between work and the things that matters to me like family, hobbies and a tidy room hehe

How did Zul's name came up in the message?? I was an emotional wreck when the relationship ended and was still trying to move on when I entered the working world until I met he-who-doesn't-know which actually didn't work pretty well either.I was reading this article titled "A letter to the first love". I was surprised that the content was pretty much what I would want to say to Zul if I had the chance to.

Although our relationship had ended bitterly when his betrayal was coincidentally revealed, I would still like to thank him for so many things. Like.... If he have not betrayed me, I probably might not have the chance to see the world. Now I've been to Africa, baby! And I want to thank him for the accident, although it caused my knee to be slightly arthritic and occasionally pained, but I learned that love is willing to sacrifice. When it's all shattered and not meant to be, initially I did feel enraged because I felt that he had not appreciated what I'd done. But when I reflected back on those days, I sacrificed because I sincerely loved him and it no longer matter if he appreciate it or not because who he was when he betrayed me was not the same person who I'd sacrificed for.... Because the time when I sacrificed, it was worth it. And the time when I chose to step out of the relationship, was the best decision I'd ever made.

In most cases, first love don't turn out to be the last. It's just like an introduction and after that we learn that love is not like what the fairy tales feed us. It's not happy ever after but something to work on together ever after. Although my first love was a stranger, I'd never thought that my second love would be another stranger. I went to browse all my posts about he-who-doesn't-know last night and laughed to the numerous amount of posts in which I said I'm going to let him go. Many had happened after "Journey To The One". We were drawn closer to know each other better as friends. At times, I questioned myself whether it's right to continue our acquaintance or will it hurt me. But then I set my intention right. When we become friends in the first place, it was not because I expect my feelings to be reciprocated. It started as just another friendship so then if the feeling is not mutual, why should I run away when I can actually handle it? But I know, not everybody could accept my conscience...



How I wish the second one is the last but I guess here's another story which is not meant to be. I'm just glad that I finally found someone who can soften my battered heart, someone I could trust and feel safe with. Someone I could laugh heartily with and sometimes bully. Someone who really listens and who often surprised me with the details he remembered. Someone who looks at me with a smile that never fades that it made me laugh although I meant to be serious. Someone who trust me in return and enjoy my company. Zul left me crying for many months and I don't want that to happen again. If all this is to end, I want it to end happily. Not having anything unsettled. I want to remember our moments together with a smile rather than having tears rolling down my cheeks. Although there are many things that I haven't figured out and perhaps will be kept as a secret forever, I'm glad that the ending was made to happen in a dimly lit street where he can't see that my face was actually flushing red. It ended with a smile curved on his lips then he said, "Assalamualaikum.."



I guess, not writing for so long made me a little bit rusty and everything just seem to be jumbled up in one post. But my point is, think about it, how many things in life turn out different from what we have planned or from what we have predicted? Where did we end up at the end of the story? In my case, I landed on the perfect spots every time no matter how scary the fall is. So now I learn to put my whole trust on Allah. All I have to do is just face it, live my life for my ultimate destination, be grateful, be happy etc etc.




Allah is the Creator of this massive world... It's beautiful... It's perfect for all His creations.. Then why should we doubt what he had written?



And lets just smile to the smell of vanilla~ Nakupenda he-who-doesn't-know..
Nakupenda sana ;)

The Future Is Not Mine To See...

Monday, June 16, 2014

Bismillah...



Have you ever found someone with whom you click in an instant and feels like you could be best friends forever?

And it surprises you that the two of you are often thinking about the same things... That it felt awkward that the same words are expelled simultaneously that it made you laugh when you thought about it again of how that had happened...

It would also be lovely to have someone with whom you could do a lot of things together...

I think, at this age we handle heartbreaks differently now...

It's really easy to surrender to fate.. Like I would tell myself that some things are meant to be and some are not.. And then get on with life..

Someone like I mentioned above crossed my path... O how I wish he is mine to keep... But I guess it's not meant to be...  So I will tell you; when I saw his smile in front of the surau 2 years ago, I didn't have butterflies in my stomach... nor did my heart skipped a beat... Tapi aku rasa laen... Aku rasa tenang...

But perhaps he-who-doesnt-know is not mine to keep...

But still I'm grateful that there are times that he had made me very happy... Jadi aku rasa kisah kami tamat... hahaha habis suda siri dari 2012 ni :p

Sekian...




Preparing For Africa!!!!!!!!! \(^^)/

Monday, June 9, 2014

Bismillah....

When this post appears on my blog, I'll already be in Africa InshaAllah... I don't want to leave this blog dormant for too long.. (Padahal selalu suda kan..) So I thought I would write a little bit about how the idea popped out, what I'd to go through while waiting for the time to come and my rather nerve wrecking preparation...

I haven't mention about us not having any flight ticket by the end of our Tasmania and NZ trip, have I? Well, that was actually unprecedented. We always have tickets for the next trip after every trip... So, we were anxious.. We already got the destinations in mind but we haven't even got the dates although we know by the second month post-travel all of us will have withdrawal symptoms.. MEROYAN~




Ini contoh2 withdrawal symptoms.. Snatch travel quotes from FB and put it on my pic.. Obses dengan diri sendiri sunggoh...

How I end up choosing Africa... INTUITION~ A CALLING~

Really it was! Woke up one weekend and thought it would be cool to try visit a continent that we haven't been to. I quickly check on Zimbabwe then Kenya and finally Tanzania... Made the decision in that instant and searched for 2-way ticket to Tanzania.. And Voila! RM 3300 all-in via Qatar airline!

Send message in Whatsapp Group "Korang Tanzania, RM 3300 2-way.." And got an immediate reply from RA and voila! Bought 2 tickets within 2 hours after the idea popped...  We're actually not that well-off that we could just decide like that.. We've learn from the past that we will eventually get the money needed for our trip when we are more objective. Already having the ticket gives the motivation.

I know most travelers will do the budgeting first before buying the ticket. But doing it the other way around works for us.. And of course lah within the interval we have to work hard and fast on the itinerary to try reduce cost as low as we could.

For this Safari trip, I spent much time searching for ground travel agents in Tanzania. I emailed at least 15 companies and read perhaps thousands of reviews and even contacted the clients to make sure the reliability of the service.. So I finally opted for Lindo Tanzania Travel since the manager gave a very good impression from his helpful and quick response to my emails and the price is quite low compared to other companies but not too cheap though... hehe



And one thing you should prepare yourself with is the immunization with yellow fever vaccine. Well, it is actually not a compulsory requirement by the customs however  to be on the safe side, we took it anyway. Because it is recommendable to those who board transit flight. If the health officer ask you to produce the vaccination book and  you don't have it, you might need to take it then and there. From the forum that I read, it might cost around $50. Mine was RM 90 since I did it at a government facility. But they'd asked for my passport, the ticket and my work pass. RA had it for RM 350 because she got it at the GP.

The vaccination was rather taxing because I'd to come 4 times just for that single injectio (^^") seb baek semangat aku berkobar2! And then there was some problem with the Foreign Telegraph Transfer. Luckily, the tour manager was okay when I asked for his ID and Alhamdulillah it's finally all settled~


One of the most useful Safari tips that I got form the internet...

Don't wear anything blue!!! It'll attract the Tse Tse fly and mosquitoes!


Hurm. doakan keselamatan kami.. Dua gadis di Benua Afrika!






Iceland Part 1

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Bismillah...

Iceland has been in my wishlist since my undergraduate.. I don't remember how that came to be but I always thought it would be cool to go to the farthest land from home. The hardest part of this leg of the trip was to decide which part of Iceland that we would like to visit. The attractions are abundant and they're scattered all over Iceland. We finally decided to go for the East side since it's quite variety over that side; Waterfalls, Icebergs and Glaciers...


I say, Reykjavik airport is one of the most unique that I've ever seen. Impressive architecture and you can see art displays like these statues below. And I remember there were Viking proverbs written on the walls as we walk towards the arrival exit.





So like I said, all the way from the airport to Reykjavik, the scenery were volcanic rocks and moss that made me think, "So where are all the beautiful landscape shown on the internet!!!!!!!!!???"

It looks like as if there are no other living creatures other than those on the bus. And when the view of Reykjavik town looms from afar.. phew~ What a relief! It's very small for a capital but considering Iceland's population, the size is just nice to accommodate all the essentials. The first building that I saw was a huge IKEA outlet and I was like "HOLLA SCANDINAVIA!!!" (nda apalah blom sampai pon kan... sudah dekat..) and later found out that almost every single furniture in Iceland is IKEA's! We even developed a habit of checking for IKEA logo on every item we encounter; the bed in our room, the closets, the make up table, the utensils at the restaurants...


I had a bad gastritis when we arrived. I had a bad headache and was nauseous... Percayalah, baru aku tau tablet MMT tu sadap masa di Iceland because I never taste it before (^^")

We arrived in the evening and I still remember how torturous it was for me who was ill to wait for Maghrib which was at 11 pm.. And I've to wait for Isya' which was at 12.30 pm and Subuh at 2 am.. Of course lah aku tertidur dan lambat sket~ Aku x bole imagine orang yang puasa masa ni!!!!! 21 hours man!!!!

And malam macam dusk jak... Nampak lagi tu Matahari ok!


We booked our rental car with Thrifty. I went for the pick up because they needed my international driving licence. Gagah kan aku x pakai sweater... Nampak gumok sebab horizontal stripes and thick long john inside *perlukah explain??*

Masa ni lah aku nampak, muka Icelanders semua sepattern, macam Chad Micheal Murray hahaha

So about the car rental; we used the Car Trawler to get the best deal. Actually, we booked a compact car, Chevy Spark but we were offered an upgrade to Chevy Cruze for an additional 5 Euros per day.. So, why not?? (^^)

We also took the weather protection to be on the safe side.. Well, the roads are well paved, yes, but there are some attractions that have gravel roads and the weather could suddenly change so we prepared ourselves with all the protections needed. We don't want to pay thousands for scratches, do we??

Like what the CMM look-alike said, "Better be safe than sorry,"

I didn't drive of course.. I was too weak.. So I sat at the back, and just stare out the window and literally jumped out of my seat when the rocky scenery slowly turned into yellowish hilly area with waterfalls cascading down from the top!



Maaf lah kamera kampung...

It was like the landscape evolved from rocks to all these...
Notice those purple plant?? Oho do not be deceived by it's vibrant colour. That's lupine. Although, from my opinion, the lupine is one of the contributorto Iceland's rare beauty, it is considered an invasive plant and is endangering other plant species that is native to Iceland...

Our first destination, Skogafoss



Bha nanti la aku sambung....

Goodbye Swiss and Hola Iceland!!!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Bismillah..

We spent 2 nights in Geneva and booked at the Geneva Youth Hostel. It was under a massive renovation so we didn't get any internet connection at the room. So I actually sat at the lobby that night to do some habitual massive photo upload on Facebook.



There was a group of school kids at the sitting area who I presumed were also there for the internet. Suddenly one of the boys who were sitting next to me asked "Apol?? *Apple* while his index finger pointing at my laptop.. "No, it's Lenovo"

Budak: Ne vous parle français?
GG: Sorry, I don't understand French...
Budak: Parli Italiano?
GG: Nope.. Not Italian either...
Budak: O que dizer de Português?
GG: Sorry.. No, I don't understand (^^")
Budak: Habla usted español?
GG: Sorry.. I only speak English
*Dalam hati.. Demit banyaknya bahasa ko pandai!!!!!!!! Ko show off ka ini?? hahaha*

Serius bingung aku sekejap.. Aku rasa dia actually mau tanya pasal charger laptop (^^") And then the boy who spoke to me and one of his friend went off and ran up the stairs. Heard a loud thud right after that followed by a loud cry. And I only discovered what happened the next morning when I saw the boy's friend berbalut POP di sebelah tangan and bandaged di sebelah lagi.. o0o0o0 rupanya kau jatuh tangga semalam...

We didn't do much in Geneva. We were too tired from the long road trip. We stroll around. Saw a Jewish Rabbi and I felt like I wanna say hi and ask him what he thinks about Islam because he's the first one I've ever seen in my entire life. But I refrained myself from doing so hehe Watch people returning to their homes from work; some were on trams, some were on roller blades, bicycles and skateboards... We don't see that in Malaysia, do we.

Took pictures of the popular places dan wajib the famous fountain...


O ya! When it comes to Geneva, there's one particular guy that I won't miss out in my story..
We met him when we were on our way to the train station. I actually noticed him walking beside us. He was wearing a red sweatshirt with hoodie, his ears were full of earrings and even his face was pierced. He was blonde and he has the dreadlock style. Kalau di Malaysia samseng habes suda neh!

And when we stopped at a junction waiting for the traffic light to turn red, he said 
"Hi! Where are you from?"
"We're from Malaysia"
"Ah! Really? Welcome to Geneva. How do you like it  here?"

Dan mulalah kami berborak sambil berjalan beriringan.. Terus jadi hensem!

And guess what, when we told him that we're trying to find the train station, he walked us there!!!
He wasn't sure about the new entrance and helped us ask around. Although he didn't walk us all the way to the entrance, macam macik Isabel n Bruce Willis look alike did, still it was very kind of him to be very helpful..

Ayuhlah kita instill sifat begini dengan strangers rather than being prejudice all da way!



At the airport, we did something cliche.. We got ourselves some Swiss wrist watch! My first choice was out of stock so out of dismay I end up buying two! (^^")

Where were we heading??? Our flight was bound to Luton, London in which SJ have waited for us for several hours and after that we took a flight to.... wait for it.. wait for it.. ICELAND!!!!!!!

We haven't eaten any proper meal until we reached London.. Aku pon gastrik lah.. Luckily there were lots of Vege food in Costa so I ate quite a lot to compensate the meals I missed... Namun aku pening juga sampai ke Iceland because it was too late~

It was a Friday, and to my surprise there was an announcement telling the venue for Jumaah prayer in the airport that day. Kagum seyh! That's what I call TOLERANCE!! The flight to Iceland from London took about 3 hours. We checked in at our hotel and was immediately very pleased with the service. O ya, there's a shuttle bus service that sends you straight to your hotel and it is the cheapest option. I remember it was Greyline and they even have WiFi on the bus. Since we'll be travelling to the east for two days, we only wanted to bring necessary items and leave our bags at the hotel. Luckily they allow us to do that and they also have this free phone for you to call your car rental company and the company will then pick you up to collect the car at the office~

Apa2 pon.. Sampai2 airport, ini saja yang aku nampak sampai Reykjavik... All black and barren.. And we didn't see any single plant! Except the yellowish moss..

"Aik? Indah Kabar dari rupa kah???" *Dalam hati*
"Uish!! Kite kat planet Nameck ke ape ni?" *Yang diluah*



So... When I saw greenery in the last scene of the movie Non-Stop (Yes, the plane hijacking movie starring Liam Neeson), I was like, "No! That's not Iceland airport!!!!!"

For a moment I do thought I'd picked a wrong destination for our Eurotrip.. But then I recalled the many articles that I read before the trip.. How often they use the word RARE...

So that's Iceland... It's RARE.. It's out of this world.. Jeng jeng jeng! Bersambung~