Saturday, 29 October 2016


“Reflect upon your present blessings -- of which every man has many -- not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” 
― Charles Dickens

I used to equate the meaning of the 'rizq' with money or food. Probably because in English, 'rizq' means provision or sustenance.

Provision- noun means

an amount or thing supplied or provided.

Sustenance - noun means

food and drink regarded as a source of strength; nourishment.

It was only much much later that I come to understand that 'rizq' also means blessings.

Blessing - noun means

God's favor and protection.

In actual fact, I do believe that blessings in Islam covers a wider range than the dictionary definition. To me, anything that is good is 'rizq'. In fact, some things that we perceive as bad, can also be 'rizq'. I suppose it's how we look at things.

Let me give you an example, whenever we fall ill, we think that it's a bad thing, something that is negative. After all, who enjoys getting sick, right?  So how come it's a rizq?

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

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

It's clear from the above hadith that the opportunity of having our sins be forgiven or written like a bad debt is indeed a blessing, rizq.

When we pray and make dua for more rizq, often we expect more money or wealth or food or material stuff and when we feel that our dua has not been answered in accordance to our expectations, we tend to get disheartened or frustrated.

We forget that rizq encompasses a whole wide range of things. Good friends are rizq, families are rizq, having perfectly able and working limbs are rizq, functioning senses are rizq, peace is rizq, love is rizq, waking up every morning is rizq, clean water is also rizq. We forget sometimes that some rizq are given to us on a daily basis and still, we take it for granted, like the air that we breathe.

I read a story about a blind boy who thinks of his blindness as rizq because his eyes are protected from seeing haram things. MasyaAllah...

Now, I must remind myself that everything that has been given to me is a blessing, rizq and I should be thankful and grateful as indeed God Almighty has answered my dua.

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

Allah the Almighty said: I am as My servant thinks I am (1). I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assembly better than it. And if he draws near to Me an arm's length, I draw near to him a cubit, and if he draws near to Me a cubit, I draw near to him a fathom. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed. (1) Another possible rendering of the Arabic is: "I am as My servant expects Me to be". The meaning is that forgiveness and acceptance of repentance by the Almighty is subject to His servant truly believing that He is forgiving and merciful. However, not to accompany such belief with right action would be to mock the Almighty.

Hadith Bukhari & Muslim

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Into the Woods...

“A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.” ― A.A. MilneWinnie-the-Pooh

Last week, instead of our usual gardening routine, sister M suggested that we go hiking instead. Sister M has been on this 'eat healthy and exercise' mode, which I'm not too thrill to follow.

I'm actually allergic to exercise, at least that's what I tell myself but the episode of ending up in the emergency ward with chest pain, is not something which I want to re-live or go through again. Hence, I reluctantly realised that the time has come for me to make a change.

So, that day, sister M, sister G and myself decided to climb one of the hills near my place. The hill is surrounded by a reserved forest so it was like hiking adventure in the woods.

I arrived early at the entrance of the hill so I perched myself on a stone waiting for the other two to arrive. A couple of the hikers who passed by, looked at me cautiously before smiling, perhaps, trying to determine whether I was human or a ghostly figure that had descended from the top of the hills since I was sitting all alone, smiling like a Cheshire Cat. I suppose my smile was kinda eerie.

Anyway, we walked following the foot path until we reached a junction. It was either to go right or left and since there was no signage, we were not sure which was the best route. The last thing we wanted was to get lost in the forest!

There we were, standing right in the middle of no-where, trying to decide where to go, when an elderly guy came up to us to told us to take the right path. Immediately, I remembered a verse...

" And your Lord says, "Call upon Me; I will respond to you."
Quran  40:60

Dua or supplication is a unique thing. You can call upon God at any time. It doesn't have to be only during prayers. It can be while you're sitting down or driving or even when you think you are lost in a jungle. That's how easy it is to talk to God. There isn't a prescribed protocol on or when to make dua but still we sometimes fail to do it.

 “There is nothing more dear to Allah Ta’ala than a servant making dua to him.”

Hadith Tirmidhi

And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me - indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.

Quran 2:186

Anyway, the elderly uncle who is 60 years old, put the 3 of us to shame when he effortlessly climbed the steep hills without being breathless while the three of us were huffing and puffing all the way. Of course he did make us feel slightly better when he said we looked like students, which reduced us to a giggling fit. What can I say...Flattery works all the time.

To make the story short, we survived the hike and made it out in one piece, thanks to the kind-hearted uncle. I realised that I really should start taking care of myself better. After all, our bodies are only on loan to us. We are merely custodians but we are responsible for the condition of our bodies.

Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, said a strong believer was better than a weak believer.

Hadith Muslim

One thing for sure is that blessings can come in many forms. It can even come in a form of a 60 years old uncle guiding 3 clueless women through the woods...

Friday, 14 October 2016

Heavent Sent

Alhamdulillah....the journey to remain on Path is never easy. Every struggle is a step closer. Every obstacle is a stepping stone.

My heartfelt thank you to those who have been supporting me relentlessly. With His Will and the love that I received, this book is finally out.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

New Year

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.” 
― Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Last week, someone asked me about my resolutions for the New Islamic year.

Frankly, I've never been one to make new year resolutions as I am horrible at keeping it. It would be utterly pointless for me. Sigh!

As for me, the end of the year (Islamic year, that is) is the time for me to reflect on the things that I've done, both good and bad. I try to tally things up. I try to imagine standing on Judgment, watching my deeds being weighed. Will my good deeds be heavier or my bad deeds? Brrr...chills run down my spine just thinking about it!

This year, when I reflected on what I have done, I found myself feeling tremendously grateful and thankful. There were things that I wanted to do but didn't quite manage to do it. There were things that I never planned or intended to do but I did. Indeed, God is the best Planner, He is Al-Wakil, the best Disposer of Affairs.

“And whatever of blessings and good things you have, it is from Allah” [al-Nahl 16:53]. 

One of the things that I am thankful for is the sisterhood bond that I get from both my book and gardening club. Who would thought that a group of perfect strangers, would end up to be my pillars of support.

I've always been nerdy. I have this deep fascination and love affair with books. During my uni years, most of my time was spent in the library or hibernating in my room with a book. I love the smell of books in the library. I also love museums.

When watching the cartoon 'Beauty and the Beast', while everyone else was gushing over the majestic castle, I was busy salivating over the library with the thousands of books and the rolling ladder.

When I first stepped foot in my university library, I felt that I had died and gone to book heaven. The musty smell of the leather-bound old books, was so intoxicating that I felt I wanted to stay there forever. Some people do think of me as weird hence you have no idea how happy I was to find 'some bodies'  as weird and nerdy as I am.

As for my gardening club, now that's something that I didn't plan to do. Getting dirt on my fingers or all sweaty is definitely NOT my favourite past time but lo and behold, these sisters had somewhat convinced me that soil won't kill me and that I do not have a black thumb. Hence, begun a very green and fruitful relationship.

I still do scream like a banshee at the sight of a frog or bugs but at least I've managed to grow a couple of plants and trees all on my own. Trust me, for a 'diva'  like me, that's a HUGE achievement.

So, for this new year, I do not have any resolutions but only hope that the sisterhood bonds that were created, that I've been so fortunate to be apart of, will last for a lifetime. Ameen...

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Souls are like crowds, which gather together. The ones who met before get along well. The ones who did not meet before, cannot get along very well and separate.” (Bukhari  & Muslim).