Saturday, 21 November 2015

A History, a Garden and Friendship....

“Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It's not something you learn in school. But if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven't learned anything.” ― Muhammad Ali

 This is a story about childhood friends. 

When I was small, making friends was not one of my strongest traits. I was a difficult child, nasty at times and completely emotional. I was ready to think the worst of a person. Needless to say, I didn't have many close friends.

During my brief stint in a boarding school, I met G, M, F, I, A and other girls. Some became my dorm-mates and others were class-mates. Suffice to say that since I was in school for only a few months, a  long lasting friendship wasn't forged between me and them and after school ended, we each went our separate ways. 

About a year ago, by the Will of God, 26 years after we left school, I saw the girls again. Shortly after that, Garden of Hope was born. Ironically, it is only now that I am finally getting to know these friends whom I had met during my childhood. It was during our weekly garden meet that our friendship developed and grew strong. 

I believe God has His reasons in arranging things as He does. Like the Wise Owl always say, 'nothing is coincidence. It will happen when He wants it and how He wants it.'

Many years ago, I did not know how to value friendship as I do now. Now, I learned to appreciate the strength, weaknesses and eccentricities in each of my friends. Even though we come from different backgrounds, it is the common goal that unite us together.

Ever since we started our 'gardening club', I am a better baker and cook. Sister M is a master baker and she is always giving us recipes and tips. Sister M is also one of the causes of my expanding waistline as she brings delectable cakes and savories every time we meet. 

Sister F is a master chef and can whip up a dish that can put, even the best chef to shame.  Her experiences and wisdom never fails to amaze me. 

Sister G is the positive vibes of the group. Hearing her scream whenever she digs out a worm, is the highlight of the day and it always leaves us giggling like school kids. 

Sometimes, the others would join us for our gardening meet and when that happens, you can hear shrieks of laughter from miles away. We exchange notes, share knowledge, wipe tears and even flick each other's ears when situation warrants it. Our garden? It has expanded and is in bloom....

It's funny how things turned out from just a 'Garden'. If you have childhood friends whom you have not met or heard from in years, perhaps now is a good time to try to get in touch with them again. It's always nice to have friends around. If you don't know how to go about, then start a 'gardening club'!

 Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily,     you do not enrich the people with your wealth, but rather you enrich them with your cheerful faces and good character.”
At-Tabarani 18

Friday, 13 November 2015

Thank you, aunty....

“People never learn anything by being told, they have to find out for themselves.” ― Paulo Coelho

Yesterday, an old school friend had invited a few of us to join him in a 'Feed the Needy' program. This is a program where a group of volunteers, pull their resources together and feed the needy as well as homeless, in the city. It's something like soup kitchen.

Not wanting to lose out on a real live experience, we agreed. We agreed to meet at a designated place at 8 pm. My husband and I decided to bring 4 of our kids along, with the hope that they learn something from their experience.

A scholar once said that if you are healthy, you have a family and a roof over your head, then you are considered rich! Now, I understand what he meant...

Last night I realized that, like us, the homeless and the needy too, dream of a better life for them and their family but circumstances have it, their predicament are as such. The scary part is, it can happen to anyone. Today, you might be living in your million dollars castle but tomorrow, it could be that you find yourself living in the streets due to an unexpected turn of events.

After last night, the words humbleness, humility and gratefulness, have a whole new meaning to me.  Looking at the children especially the babies, struck a chord in my heart. They experience hardship even at a tender age but they were still very polite and thanked us for the food.

I believe each one of us have the ability to help another. It doesn't always  have to be monetary. Sometimes, a kind word and a helping hand is all they need.

If you can, please do volunteer and join the program, at least once in your lifetime. I assure you, it will really open your eyes to the plight of others. It will soften your heart and make you be more appreciative of the blessings that have been bestowed upon you, however little.

Our kids helped to distribute the food and was excited with the fact that they had assisted, even in a small way.Riding home last night, instead of the usual whining from them, we received a chorus of 'thank you'.....

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Assembly Point

“Each meeting occurs at the precise moment for which it was meant. Usually, when it will have the greatest impact on our lives.” ― Nadia Scrieva

In one of our trips up north, hubby decided to make a pitt-stop at one of the RNR. As he slowly drove the car into parking at a vacant spot, I was rummaging my handbag looking for something. When I looked up, I saw a signboard right in front of me. The sign was a notification of the assembly point in case of an emergency.

At that time, I couldn't help but wonder how the atmosphere will be on Judgment day i.e. mashyar. One thing that I know is that it will be totally chaotic. Everyone will be in a state of panic. There would not be a sign like the one I'm staring at, that's for sure! No one will know where to go or when.

“And the Trumpet will be blown, and all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth will swoon away, except him whom God wills.” (Quran 39:68)

“And the Trumpet will be blown (i.e.  the second blowing) and behold!  From the graves they will come out quickly to their Lord.” (Quran 36:51)

“On the Day you see it every nursing mother will be distracted from that [child] she was nursing, and every pregnant woman will abort her pregnancy, and you will see the people [appearing] intoxicated while they are not intoxicated; but the punishment of Allah is severe.” (Quran 22:2)

But, is it possible to be in state of total calmness and be treated like VIP whilst waiting for our fate to be determined?

Narrated Abu Hurairah (RTA) The prophet said “Seven people will be shaded by Allah under His Shade on the Day (Day of  Resurrection) when there will be no shade except His. They are:

a)   A just ruler.
b)   A young man who has been brought up in the worship of Allah (i.e. worships Allah alone sincerely from his childhood)
c)   A man whose heart is attached to the mosque (who offers the five compulsory congregational prayers in the mosques)
d)   Two persons who love each other for the sake of Allah’s sake, and they meet and part in Allah’s cause only.
e)   A man who refuses the call of a charming woman of noble birth for illegal sexual intercourse with her and says, I fear Allah.
f)    A person who practices charity so secretly that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given.
g)   A person who remembers Allah in seclusion and his eyes becomes flooded with tears.

(Sahih Al Bukhari Vol.2, Hadith 504)

Don't you long to be one of them? I do.

How are we resurrected?

Jaabir who said: “I heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say, ‘Every person will be resurrected in the manner that he died.’” (Narrated by Muslim, 2878) 

IbnUmar (may Allah be pleased with him): “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘When Allah sends down punishment upon a people, the punishment also befalls those who were among them, then they will be resurrected according to their deeds.’” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 7108). 

Let us hope that our soul are taken in the best manner and when we are committing good deeds...ameen...