Madame Blossom's Book of Poems

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Daud (David) A.S., the mountains and Tibetan Plateau

I love mountains.  No, not to hike them, but just it's view. I don't mind driving up.

Mountains are quite a majestic creation of Allaah.

"And We have set on the earth mountains standing firm, lest it should shake with them, and We have made therein broad highways (between mountains) for them to apss through that they may receive Guidance" (Al Anbiya' 21:31) Many other wonderful ayats about the mountains in the Quran.

I love the view when I was in Nagano Japan, driving on a long straight road and ahead of me, in the horizon, snow-capped mountains.  Subhanallaah. Also when I was in Mongolia endless, rolling mountains all around. Subhanallaah.

And in relation to mountains, I'm also attracted to this ayat in the Quran, about how Allaah made the mountains and the birds sing praises to Allaah, with Daud.  Such a beautiful passage, and such a beautiful image.

"To Solomon We inspired the right understanding of the matter.  To each [of them] We gave Judgment and Knowledge; And We subjected, with Daud - the mountains to celebrate Our praises, and the birds. It was We who did [all these things]. (Al-Anbiya' 21:79)

Many years ago, I saw a video of Shila Amzah -a Malaysian singer, who has made it big in China- she sang a Chinese Folk Song - Tibetan Plateau.  I've heard this song before, but her rendition was so beautiful that it gave me goosebumps.   The video that I saw before, showed the meaning of the lyrics in English (I can't find that video already).  The meaning of the song, immediately reminded me of Daud A.S. and the mountains.

Tibetan Plateau (rough translation, I got from the original music video - Li Na)

Is it a call from a remote antiquity
If it's a prayer for ten thousand years
What if there is a song without [need for] words
or an attachment daunting forever

ah I see mountains
mountains with endless horizon
mountains standing up each other
ya la so it is the tibetan plateau

Many nights we gaze upon the sky
we dream of immortal life
isn't it an anthem
or the untouchable (unchangeable) grandeur

ah I see mountains
mountains with endless horizon
mountains standing up each other
ya la so it is the tibetan plateau

So now, when I come across this ayat, I'm reminded of the Tibetan Plateau, and every time I hear the Tibetan Plateau, I'm reminded of the ayat.  Subhanallaah, how Allaah has subjected everything on this earth to mankind.  How Great Allaah is, and how much gratitude, we owe to Allaah. Alhamdulillaah. May Allaah guide us all.

Have a fruitful Ramadan in these strange times.

Friday, May 01, 2020

Petite (17cm) Lemon Cake

90gm butter, melted
80gm flour
80gm sugar
pinch of salt
2 eggs
1tbsp lemon juice
zest from 1 lemon

1. preheat oven to 180deg Celcius, line the cake pan, melt butter in microwave, sift flour.
2. In a large bowl, add eggs, sugar and salt.  Over the double boiler (hot water around 50-60deg Cel) whisk the egg mixture until it becomes lukewarm and sugar dissolve.   Remove the bowl and whip the mixture until very thick and double in size.
3. Add sifted flour in 3 parts, fold in gently with spatula until incorporated.
4. Add melted bugger, mix well.
5. Add lemon juice and lemon zest and mix until just combined.
6. Pour batter into pan, bake for 30-35 mins.

For icing, mix well 50gm of icing sugar and 1/2 tbsp lemon juice and drizzle/spread over cake once it's out of the oven.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Quran reflections - 10:24 Yunus - nothing is from 'scratch'

Quran 10:24

"The example of worldly life is but like rain which We have sent down from the sky that the plants of the earth absorb - those from which men and livestock eat - until when the earth has taken on its adornment and is beautified and it's people suppose that they have capability over it - there comes to it Our command by night or by day and We make it as a harvest as if it had not flourished yesterday. Thus do We explain in detail the signs for a people who give thought."

Isn't it important to always remember that all that we have, all that we are capable of, is only by Allaah's will.

The underlined statement, reminds me of our current times - men have invented so many wonderful and wondrous things, and people who use them, often forget that all those wondrous things that man invited are still derived from Nature  that Allaah created. 

What they learn, they learn from nature that God created and what they make, they take it's sources from nature that God created. Nothing is built from 'scratch'.   What they invented is only a speck of the wonders of Nature that Allaah created. 

Sunday, February 16, 2020

my mother's passing

My mom was a fighter. She had many conditions and sometimes some injuries, but she has always put up a brave and strong front. However she would shout, if the nurses did not treat her gently and causing too much pain. She was on dialysis 3 times a week for the last 2 years plus.

Last week, when her condition was very bad, she still held on for as long as she could.

I was on my way to the hospital, when the doctor called to ask me an urgent question, if my mom's heart stops beating, what do I want them to do? Do I want them to perform CPR or do whatever they can to force the heart to beat or do they do nothing? She was not getting any better. I said, I would call her back in an hour or two, to discuss with my brother and father first. She said, but they need an answer for now - if it happens now, before I call back, what do they do?

I said, ok, do nothing. It was last Thursday.

My mind went blank for a while. I am just hoping now that I can reach the hospital before anything happens. I updated my family.

My mom's heart was not beating well already, even a slow dialysis is putting too much for her heart. Not doing dialysis builds up toxin into her heart also. It's bad both ways. She is also not able to digest her liquid food well.

I accept her time is near. My father and I told the doctor that it is our hope that she could pass away after maghrib - because for the Muslim, it would mean a lot to pass away on a Muslim's Friday (which begins at maghrib). Of course we totally understand that she is only human and Allaah has decreed her death at a very specific time. (And for all people a term has been set: and when [the end of] their term approaches, they can neither delay it by a single moment, nor can they hasten it. 7:34) We can only now make doa.

We stayed by her side, and try not to say anything else, other than 'laa ilaaha illallaah' and 'allaah', stroking her forehead gently, hoping for her to be peaceful and not afraid - laa hawfun 3alaihim, wa laahum yahzanuun. Between that, I was making a very very earnest doa, that Allaah keep her going till maghrib. Please, let her go on a Friday. Please, make it easy for my mother. Please make her see beautiful things. Please forgive her and have mercy on her.

The doctor called me out at about 5pm plus, to inform me that her heart rate has started to fall. It may fall slowly, then a plateau, and then a sharp fall. I asked her how long sometimes that takes.. she said, it's still hard to tell, because it differs for people.. it could be 2 hours or even whole night. I thanked the doctor.

I went in and continue to make my earnest doa. We took turns to go down, to let the grandchildren and her in laws see her for the last time. Due to the outbreak, only 4 person allowed to visit at any one time.

While we are by her, we continued stroking her head, and uttering the important words. When she winced a bit, I'd read the doa for Allaah to relieve pain. and then I continued with 'allaah, allaah, laa ilaaha illallaah', still stroking her head gently. still earnestly in my heart praying for maghrib to come fast. Every second counted.

When I came back up for my turn, in the lift, maghrib approached. I rushed to the room - and the monitor showed 0. My brother said, she had just passed away. Just at the stroke of maghrib, it hit 0. And then the azan sounded from the phone, and the heart beat a bit more and back to 0. MasyaaAllaah. Alhamdulillaah. I kissed my mom's forehead, I forgot if I actually whispered, 'well done mak' but I was thinking it.

Mak passed away on 13th Feb 2020, doctor's record said : 7.36pm
By our record, it was 7.22pm Maghrib, 20 Jamadilakhir 1436H - a Friday full of barakah.

Alhamdulillaah, we also managed to arrange for her solat jenazah prayer to be held after the jumuah prayers at Pusara Aman Mosque - because I was really aiming for the many people who would be around to participate in the solat jenazah.

Alhamdulilaah, Thank you Allaah for answering all my prayers. Only by Allaah's mercy and will.

Please make doa for my mother - that Allaah forgive her and have mercy on her : Norliah Bte Abdullah.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

guarding against viruses

Recently, Wuhan virus broke out. Even prior to this, there has been fatal viruses found over the years, like SARS, Mad Cow, Bird Flu etc. We have been asked to put on masks and wash our hands regularly to avoid being infected. Cleanliness is key.

Some significant viruses are airborne - spread through breathing, talking, coughing, sneezing, raising of dust, spraying of liquids, toilet flushing or any activities which generates aerosol particles or droplets (Wikipedia - airborne). Wuhan coronavirus is said to be transmitted through sneezing and coughing (CNA :Wuhan virus: What we know about the outbreak so far - 24 Jan 2020 ).

Thinking about these different and new viruses appearing every other year, brings to mind this hadith from Sahih Muslim, KITAB Al-ASHRIBA (THE BOOK OF DRINKS):

Jabir b. 'Abdullah reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Cover the vessels and tie the waterskin, for there is a night in a year when pestilence descends, and it does not pass an uncovered vessel or an untied waterskin but some of that pestilence descending into it.

Initially, I imagined that the night it descends, the virus descends and settles in exposed water - but now I realise, it could be referring to the way it is being transmitted. Using the masks and washing of hands may be helpful, however, I find that the covering of our drinking vessels, e.g. jugs, glasses, cups etc is equally as important if not MORE important, but overlooked. You can wash your hands, however, if you don't cover your drinking containers, these airborne viruses can easily settle into your exposed drinks and then you consume it. Sounds like an obvious and definite way to get infected.

I am certain, masyaaAllaah, that God's words/advice in the Quran or through our Prophet S.A.W. is only for man's own good. It's just a matter of whether we know why or we don't. However, in God we trust. I believe it's important and advisable to learn and practise the sunnah, like not lying on your back, not blowing into your hot food and drink (wait till the food/drink is less hot before drinking) - wouldn't you be blowing carbon dioxide into your food and drink if you did?

Therefore, as an additional measure in protecting yourself against getting infected by these viruses, cover your drinking vessels (containers) amongst other known measures and tawakkal. May Allaah protect us all from unwanted illnesses.