Sunday, 19 February 2017

Every bit of blessing...

“The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.” ― Henry Ward Beecher

When I reflect back, going through post natal depression is actually a blessing to me. One of the things that caused me stress and anxiety was seeing wastage.

I flipped when I saw the tap being turned on full blast with water gushing out. Wastage of water. The sound of water gushing out made me mental and guilty at the same time.

"Abdullah ibn Amr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, passed by Sa’d while he was performing ablution. The Prophet said, “What is this extravagance?” Sa’d said, “Is there extravagance with water in ablution?” The Prophet said, “Yes, even if you were on the banks of a flowing river.”

Hadith Ibn Majah

The other thing that drove me mad was to see wastage of food.

O children of Adam! Attend to your embellishments at every time of prayer, and eat and drink and be not extravagant; surely He does not love the extravagant.

Quran 7:31

Now, I'm almost fully recovered from my post natal depression but certain things I noticed stayed with me. I still can't abide wastage in any form especially food and it can drive me nuts. It seems that the after-effect of being sick left me with a sense awareness. That's why I said it was a blessing. Otherwise, I would like continue living being oblivious and insensitive to my surroundings.

Last night, my husband and I went to a restaurant to meet some friends. The place was full with patrons. The food was good. As we looked around, we were dismayed to see plates of unfinished food on the table.

Now, that both irritated and saddened me at the same time. The fact that we live in a world where's there hunger even in our own neighbourhood, but yet, there are still people who are wasting food.

Did you know that every morsel of food is a blessing from God?  By throwing away unfinished food is akin to throwing away His blessings and telling God, that we don't want His rizq.

Jabir (RA) reported: “I heard Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) as saying: ‘The Satan is present with any one of you in everything he does; he is present even when he eats food; so if any one of you drops a mouthful he should remove away anything filthy on it and eat it and not leave for the devil; and when he finishes (food) he should lick his fingers, for he does not know in what portion of his food the blessing lies.’” 

Sahih Muslim

Anas r.a said:"The Prophet Pbuh ordered us not to leave anything on the plateand he said: "You do not know in which portion of your food Allah has put the Barakah (Blessing)"

Hadith Muslim

Every time we pray, we ask for rizq but yet when He gives it to us, we simply throw it away without a blink or feeling or remorse. What have we become?  A wasteful nation or an ungrateful one?

Sigh! This is what we can do the next time we dine out or even at home. If we can't finish the food on our plate, for whatever reason, then have the waiter pack your leftovers. Bring it home for you to eat later or give it away to some who needs it. It's far better than throwing it away. Don't be wasteful.

Don't let the possibility of a small morsel of food be the cause of our rizq and blessings being withdrawn from us......

Friday, 3 February 2017

Brief Darkness

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” 
― Martin Luther King Jr.

I remember once, reading about one of Prophet's companions who used to get distraught if he had not fallen ill for a long spell.

When I read that, I thought it was a bit weird. I mean, who in the right frame of mind would asked to be sick instead of healthy? I understand about the part where sickness can reduce our sins but still....being sick is quite nasty business actually.

"I visited Allah's Apostle while he was suffering from a high fever. I touched him with my hand and said, "O Allah's Apostle! You have a high fever." Allah's Apostle said, "Yes, I have as much fever as two men of you have." I said, "Is it because you will get a double reward?" Allah's Apostle said, "Yes, no Muslim is afflicted with harm because of sickness or some other inconvenience, but that Allah will remove his sins for him as a tree sheds its leaves."

Hadith Bukhari

"Abu Sa'id al-Khudri r.a. reported that the Prophet said: Whenever a Muslim is afflicted with a hardship, sickness, sadness, worry, harm, or depression --even a thorn's prick, Allah expiates his sins because of it."

Hadith Bukhari & Muslim

Anyway, last week, I was given a glimpse of the answer to my wondering. I was stricken down with dengue fever. For those who had this fever before,  would know how physically painful it is. People call it the 'bone breaking' fever because you literally would feel like every bone in your battered body is breaking.

Prior to that, I couldn't pray as I was on my usual monthly leave so when I was admitted into the hospital, I was still in the state of impurity hence I couldn't pray.

On one hand, it was kinda relief as I was in too much pain to move and spent my time lying on the bed. I suppose God was giving me time off so that I can recover physically but on the other hand, I have never felt so alone in my entire life! It was a spiritually feeling of being alone.

Yes, it's true that I could do other things such as zikr but somehow, it wasn't enough.

At that time, I felt darkness had descended on my soul and I was spiralling into utter depression. I desperately wanted my physical link with my Creator but I couldn't. I didn't like it one least bit!

I don't know about others and I don't judge but for me personally, not being able to pray and be the closest to God during sujud for a long period of time is just horrible.

Every prayer we start with the intention to perform the prayer for the sake of Allah SWT. Then, we recite 'Allahuakhbar' which means 'Allah is Great'. It is an intimate meeting between us and God that no one else can intrude. To not be able to do that 5 times a day for a long spell is just depressing and complete darkness to me. I needed the 'light'. My body needed to feel it's not alone eventhough my soul knows He is near.

Now, I understand why the companions had asked for sickness. Being in that vulnerable state somehow heightened our senses and in my heightened state, I felt I needed to connect to the right channel otherwise I would feel lost. Make sense? Hhmmm....somehow, to me, it does...

"And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allah ]"
Quran 2:45

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Heaven Sent is available in Ebook

Good news! Heaven Sent is now available in ebook. Just click on the link to purchase  https://payhip.com/b/F3yI

https://payhip.com/b/F3yI

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Expiry Date....

“The more we love the more we lose. The more we lose the more we learn. The more we learn the more we love. It comes full circle. Life is the school, love is the lesson. We cannot lose.” ― Kate McGahan

Today, we got a disturbing news that one of our neighbours had passed away. She was one of my favourite elderly neighbour. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and passed away a few days after that.

I was shocked when I heard the news as I only saw her last week, doing her usual walk. She always waved and smiled at me whenever I drove by.

The news of death always jarrs me back to the reality that we are living on borrowed time. It kinda put things into perspective......well...at least until I get distracted again.

There a Malay saying that once we've reached the age of 40,  we've already have one foot in the grave. What the saying means is not that once we hit 40, we are as good as dead but it's a reminder that age is catching up and we should spend our remaining time wisely.

Nothing is certain except death and nothing is permanent except hereafter. We must find a balance between living in this world and preparing for hereafter.

It's easy to get swept away with the daily chores and routine but God do sends us signs, from time to time, to remind us that one day, we will return to Him.

" Who, when disaster strikes them, say, "Indeed we belong to Allah , and indeed to Him we will return."

Surah Al Baqara 2:156

Last Ramadhan, I suffered a minor heart attack. At first, I couldn't believe that it was happening to me because apart from being chubby, I was in good health. I did my regular check-ups and even my mammogram. But, God knows best. 

Even though it was a minor attack, I received an earful of lecture from my doctor friend, whom till today, I feel indebted to for being there when I needed her. She told me that I needed to slow down and watch my diet or risked a second attack! I was kinda over-worked the weeks prior to the attack.

Truth be told, I wasn't sure that I would last another month let alone another year. I am thankful that God had decided to 'extend my lease' but that spurred me into completing things that I was supposed to do. It also made me look differently at life. Recently, a friend taught me a new hashtag......#JOM which literally means 'lets'. Lets march ahead and allow nothing to hold us back from striving to be the best that we can be. (Happy to say that I know how to use hashtags now!)

Now, for certain I know that life is short. Spend time with your loved ones, as much as you can. Love and be loved. Learn to forgive and forget. Stay away from toxic people. Don't be petty. Make sure that you have investments for hereafter. Don't cling to worldly material stuff as you can't bring them to your grave. Charity also means spending time doing good. Appreciate true friends and respect everyone, even your enemies. Learn to leave the past behind and be positive about the future.  Always try to be better.

Most important thing of all.....check your connection with God. Is it still intact?

" Ibn Abbas reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Take advantage of five before five: your youth before your old age, your health before your illness, your riches before your poverty, your free time before your work, and your life before your death.”

Hadith Ahmad

Friday, 6 January 2017

Feeling of belonging...

“Helping someone feel they belong is a magic all its own.” ― Seth Adam Smith,


I believe that everything happens for a reason. Incident and accidents are lessons to be learnt as such I try as much of possible pay attention in 'class'.

I do look forward going to Islamic courses and conferences as I get quite a bit of gem from it but there's a downside to it. I don't know about others but whenever I listened to the lectures by the respected scholars and I looked at the people around me, I always feel like a hypocrite. Let's face it, I'm no saint, in fact far from it! I know that I am no where near the ideal Muslim described by the scholars. Every day is a constant struggle for me to stay on path. Don't get me wrong, I do feel inspired by the lectures to be better and to do more but I also feel at times that it's such an impossible feat to be that ideal Muslim described by the scholars. I always come out of the lecture theatres feeling that I'm doomed to hell. Sigh!

 Have you ever felt that you don't belong anywhere? Well, I did. I no longer belong to my past life but I've yet to be become the person whom I would like to be. I felt lost sometimes because I felt like I was in-between lives. Neither here nor there. I couldn't find the correct group of people to try to fit it.  In a way, I felt like I'm was a traveller in a huge airport, who has not reached her destination, hence, always in transit and amongst strangers. 

Then, one day, God sent me to a group of people who are not scholars but their life mission is to spread His Words and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad pbuh. They don't preach but instead they encourage others to do good. 

"The Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him) was reportedly asked: “Which of our companions are best?” He replied: “One whose appearance reminds you of God, and whose speech increases you in knowledge, and whose actions remind you of the hereafter.”

It was then that I finally understood. 

The purpose of me being at the lectures and conferences is not to feel like a failure but to increase my knowledge in Islam. Thenafter, Allah sent me ordinary people as teachers, to teach me how to put the knowledge that I acquired, to good use. I understand now that I may never be a Hafiz or an ustadha or even a scholar in Islam but that's okay. I don't know who or what I will be in the future but I do know that God will not forsake me for as long as my intentions are sincere. I also understand now that I belong where my heart is and inshaAllah, my heart is with Him.

Every one has his/her own journey to take and each journey is unique in its own way. One thing that I realised is that, even after all these years, I'm still trying to be a Muslim and that's, not a bad thing....

Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

Allah the Exalted says: I am as my servant expects me and I am with him as he remembers me. If he remembers me in himself, then I will remember him in myself. If he mentions me in a gathering, then I will mention him in a greater gathering. When he draws near to me by the span of his hand, I draw near him by the length of a cubit. When he draws near me by the length of a cubit, I draw near him by the length of a fathom. When he comes to me walking, I will come to him running.

Hadith Bukhari

Friday, 30 December 2016

Footsteps in the Sand

“Walk in truth. Leave footprints of honesty.” ― A.D. Posey

Once, someone commented that I only had 139 followers on my instagram, hence insinuating that I was not popular. I was dumbstruck by the comment and did not know how to reply so I just shrugged and smiled.

To tell you the truth, I'm not really tech-savy. Yes...I'm old school. My abilities with regards to social media accounts are limited to uploading photos and pressing 'like' only. Even when I started my instagram account, I had somehow, miraculously fumbled through the whole setting-up process. Don't ask me about twitter because I still think it's a bird!

Anyway, I noticed that some people are quite obsess with the number of 'followers' that one has or how many 'likes' a person gets on his/her Facebook status. I suppose it's a popularity ruler. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's wrong to be popular but let it be for the right reasons.

Honestly, I don't keep track of my 'followers' or 'friends' so I have no idea the number of followers or friends that I have.

The thing is, regardless of how many friends or  followers that a person has, how would you like them to remember you after you're gone? Which part of your life or conduct would you like them to follow?

"Whoever introduces some good practice in Islam which was followed after him (by people) would be assured of reward like the one who followed it without the reward of either fo them being diminished in anyway. And he who introduced some evil practice in Islam which was followed by others would bear the burden like that of the one who followed this (evil practice), without the burden of either of them being diminished in any way." 
[Muslim]

The Wise Old Man told me, many many years ago, when I was young and naive; when I complained that I didn't have many friends, that our goal on this earth is not striving to be famous or popular but to inspire others to do good. Even if we managed to encourage only one person to commit an act of goodness , then it's better than having a million friends.

The Wise Old Man also said that footsteps in the sand are only temporary and will be washed away by the rolling waves. Once it's gone, no one will remember it. If we are to leave an impression, let it be a good and lasting one. Don't let our footprints be a fleeting memory or footsteps in the sand....

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Love

'Heaven Sent' is a book about love. Love for a person, love for knowledge, love for books, love for nature, love for animals, love for parents, love for friends, love for food, love for the Prophet pbuh and love for the Creator.

This is your chance to be part of the 'love'. Show your creativeness and stand a chance to win 'love'.

How? Details are in the poster below.

#heavensent #norhafsahhamid #itsallaboutlove