Madame Blossom's Book of Poems

Monday, September 18, 2017

It’s the thought that counts.

Yes, it is really the thought that counts.    Not whether a gift is given or not.   Sometimes, not giving the gift is a better consideration than giving – because it’s the thought that really counts.     When people give gifts, it’s not for a single reason – there are many reasons and types of gifts.  Among the different types of gifts :

A loving gift.
You love them, they come to your mind, and you see something that you think would make the person happy to receive it.

A caring gift.
You know the person you’re giving it to, wants it, or is in need of it.  

A thoughtless gift.
It’s their birthday, you feel obliged to get them something, but you don’t’ know what to get, so you just get whatever is on sale or easy to get, regardless of whether the person would like it, or if the thing is useful or not, or if the recipient already has 10 of that in their possession or or or – no thought at all.

An inconsiderate gift.
You have something you don’t want, because it doesn’t work anymore or it’s not in fashion or you can’t finish the food you thoughtlessly cooked/ordered, as such you want to get rid of it – by giving it to someone else – so that the thing is out of your mind – without consideration if the person really wants it or not - or if it would be a burden to the recipient.

A selfish gift.
You give a person something, that they can use to satisfy your OWN needs e.g. getting a smart cooker for your wife, so that she can cook for you.  Or getting your husband a massage chair, so that you can use it.

So really, when you want to give a gift to someone, be sincere and put some thought in it.  If you cannot be bothered to think about what the person would want or need – then don’t get the gift - because truly, it’s the thought that counts. 

Thursday, September 07, 2017

To Japan and back.

Last night before I slept, I was reading up on some Japanese Art of mending broken things (kintsugi).  Love it.
I also thought about my upcoming trip to Japan (not so soon).   And… I had just finished reading Story of Your Life, as I mentioned in previous entry.

Last night, I had a wonderful vivid dream.   I was in Japan.

I was in Japan and I was trying to experience being in Japan as a whole, like I was able to feel the whole trip.  However, the scenes are still quite linear.
In my dream, my usually decent looking Japanese colleague, Teru-san, spotted long shoulder length hair which is cool, and was looking charming.   The first night I was there, I slept over at his house, which he shares with his sister and brother in law.   After that, my colleagues from office joined us, as we begin touring the local area.

I remember seeing some beautiful Japanese art and craft products – and there was another quaint souvenir shop next to the shop I was at.  The shop I was at, turned into a restaurant – and we ordered noodles.  It was halal – they all said so, and I saw no meat.   After that, my colleagues said the noodles were they best they have ever tasted, and couldn’t get enough of it, even though they have eaten two bowls of it – so they ordered more.    I am satisfied with mine, so I decided to go into the shop next door that was selling souvenirs.  In dreams, sometimes you don’t see yourself walking, you teleport to wherever you want to go.    So I was suddenly at the front of the souvenir shop.  I remember seeing some beautifully crafted key chains and small decorative stuff.  Of course I saw some kintsugi objects also.

Then I awoke and I was back on my bed, at a time when I’m suppose to be leaving the house already. 
In any case, alhamdulillaah, I still managed to reach the office in time for my 8am teleconference with some Japanese members. :p

I’ve been to Japan and back, masyaaAllaah.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Story of Your Life & the Story of Our Lives.

I just finished reading Ted Chiang's "Story of Your Life".  Masyaa Allaah, amazing.

I had come to know about Ted Chiang's story after watching the movie 'Arrival', which was adapted from that story.   I had cried, at the end of the movie - in awe of the idea and the thought it provoked, and how it was portrayed in the movie. (Oh yes, I had an earlier blog post on it.)

In Story of Your Life, the events from the past, present and future intertwined in the story, like a picking spots to share - from a block of ice, representing time.    The past, present and future is that block of ice - all done and frozen, but as human, we flow through this concept of "time" going from the past to the future.

I am also excited about my realisation as I was reading that story - how the events from the past, present and future, are being told to us in the Quran too.   God describes how man will act in the After Life - some rejoicing what the good they have earned, and others full of utter, unimaginable regrets of how they've wasted their life on earth creating mischiefs, facing their inevitable punishments. Even the words that they will say, are being told to us in the Quran.

[I was pausing in awe for a bit... Subhanallaah.  ...... and how come Ted Chiang got this idea and not the Muslims - wait.. Ted Chiang has not read the Quran, has he?  anyway.. how come no Muslims thought of this awesome idea, having read the Quran many times.. but then again.. I guess most of those who reads and understands the Quran, are not interested in writing story books and making movies.. ok.. God has His ways.. subhanallaah.]

Yes, in the Quran we learn about what 'happened' in the past, how we should live our lives now.. and what will happen in the future.   This has all been spelled out in the Quran, and shared to us in a non linear way - which I was reminded of when I read Story of Your Life.

In the Story of Your Life - the matter of 'The Book of Ages' - which seems to be pointing to the same idea mentioned in the Quran, where the events of all existence have been written : "... not a leaf falleth but He knoweth it, not a grain amid the darkness of the earth, naught of wet or dry but (it is noted) in a clear record. " (Al Quran, 6:59)  - ok, back to The Book of Ages, it was said that it seems to be in contradiction to 'free will'.  However 'free will' seem to exists, because we are conscious beings, making conscious decisions - not knowing that we are making decisions that will realise the future, that has actually been written.    Would knowing the future, change our course of actions, and our decisions?

That's where I see God's Mercy.

God has given us hints,  not even hints actually - there are some clear stories of the events that will happen in the future, those stories of the After Life.  Knowing those stories, should help us, who are destined to be guided - be guided.  (Of course, there will still be those who reads the same story, and become more misguided out of arrogance - trying to defy the Truth.  Still, destined.)

Back to the point of awe that I was trying to share, from which I have digressed from : how amazing that from that perspective that I've learned from the Story of Your Life ,  realise now, the possible reason (and God knows best His reasons) behind the use of the tenses when revealing the stories in the Quran - it's like it has already happened.  I guess, it could be more accurately described as the events, all of it, as being there already - and Allaah knows best - but we human, we who are going through our linear time line, have not reached that segment in our roll of life film yet.  But to Allaah, who is telling it to us, it's all there, written and frozen.
Read the Quran (and it's meaning and ponder over it) today.

p.s. when I was young, there was a point of time when I thought Islam was 'ancient' not modern.  But now as I become more mature and as I read science books, and science fictions exploring scientific ideas - I have come to realise how ADVANCED Islam and the Quran is - and how TRUE that God the Creator is GREAT - greater than any human can phantom.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Hikmatun Baalighatun - Mature wisdom

I like that phrase - hikmatun baalighatun, current favourite. From Al Qamar 54:5

Isn't it deep?  It's not a phrase that you can just read in passing.
It's a phrase that makes you stop for a bit to ponder, what is 'mature wisdom'.  What does it take for a wisdom to be matured?    Is it wisdom and advise that cannot be refuted? Because God knows all - and the Messengers of God, delivered these advice to the people - these hikmatun balighatun.

Nothing can be more wise than the advice and wisdom delivered to us from the Messengers of Allaah.  And especially with Rasulullaah SAW - the last messenger of Allaah, through which Allaah has perfected the religion. (5:3)   There is nothing more to add, nothing more good than the already given.

We find some studied or scientific evidences now, for those simple and what was thought to be trivial advice from Rasulullaah SAW - they turn out to be of subtle but important health benefits to man.  E.g. sit when drinking, and do not lie on your stomach,.  The commands to fast, and to pray 5 times a day, these also turned out to be of more benefit to the doer, than for whom it is done for (i.e. for Allaah SWT).  The benefits are in the form of physical, mental and emotional health.  And the spritual health is a sum of the mental and emotional health.

Allaah loves us and whatever Allaah commands, is only for our own good,

... and if we disobey them, it's not Allaah who needs them, for He is Ghaniyyun Hamid - free of all wants, worthy of all praise.  (31:12)