Madame Blossom's Book of Poems

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Moon

Full moon - night & morning. Subhanallah.

In the morning, it's a different kind of beautiful than the night.. In the horizon, it looked big and clear.
I'm glad I saw it.

The sun and the moon, both out this morning. :)

الشَّمْسُ وَالْقَمَرُ بِحُسْبَانٍ

" The sun and the moon follow courses (exactly) computed; "
Al Quran 55:5

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The broadness of Islam - Dr Asri Zainul Abidin

For my own reference.

The topic is on the broadness of Islam. How merciful Allah is to us, and therefore how we should be to others.

Among the hadith he brought up and pondered over are with regards to good deeds/niat and God's Mercy and forgiveness :

1) Hadith Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 24, Number 502:
( Also in Hadith Muslim, Book 005, Number 2230 - different order)
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle (p.b.u.h) said, "A man said that he would give something in charity. He went out with his object of charity and unknowingly gave it to a thief. Next morning the people said that he had given his object of charity to a thief. (On hearing that) he said, "O Allah! All the praises are for you. I will give alms again." And so he again went out with his alms and (unknowingly) gave it to an adulteress. Next morning the people said that he had given his alms to an adulteress last night. The man said, "O Allah! All the praises are for you. (I gave my alms) to an adulteress. I will give alms again." So he went out with his alms again and (unknowingly) gave it to a rich person. (The people) next morning said that he had given his alms to a wealthy person. He said, "O Allah! All the praises are for you. (I had given alms) to a thief, to an adulteress and to a wealthy man." Then someone came and said to him, "The alms which you gave to the thief, might make him abstain from stealing, and that given to the adulteress might make her abstain from illegal sexual intercourse (adultery), and that given to the wealthy man might make him take a lesson from it and spend his wealth which Allah has given him, in Allah's cause."

2) Sahih Muslim
Book 037, Number 6642:

Abu Huraira reported from Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) that his Lord, the Exalted and Glorious, thus said. A servant committed a sin and he said: O Allah, forgive me my sins, and Allah (the Exalted and Glorious) said: My servant commited a sin and then he came to realise that he has a Lord Who forgives the sins and takes to account (the sinner) for the sin. He then again committed a sin and said: My Lord, forgive me my sin, and Allah, the Exalted and High, said: My servant committed a sin and then came to realise that he has a Lord Who would forgive his sin or would take (him) to account for the sin. He again committed a sin and said: My Lord, forgive me for my sin, and Allah (the Exalted and High) said: My servant sas committed a sin and then came to realise that he has a Lord Who forgives the sins or takes (him) to account for sin. 0 servant, do what you like. I have granted you forgiveness.

'Abd al-A'la said: I do not know whether he said thrice or four times to do" what you desire". The hadlth has been narrated on the authority of 'Abd al-A'la b. Hammad with the same chain of transmitters.

Subhanallah.. how Allah loves His servants. How easy it is for us to get salvation.

3) A book was mentioned - desperately seeking paradise - now in my 'to read' list. :p

4) The meaning of Qalb - heart, and in Malay - jantung. Not 'hati' - hati is liver.

Allah knows best. And for people like me, who doesn't know Arabic well - it's always best to read and compare a few translations of the Quran - because a person expresses the meaning of the Quran according to his feel and thought of what it might be - which may be viewed slightly differently from others. Even more than that, the meaning or translations may even change with time, as people begin to learn more about the world we live in. and realise what the Quran is actually referring to. The Quran is miraculous like that. I find that the English translation is more broad and I feel more comfortable for these reasons, reading the English translation. I do hope one day, I'll be able to just grasp the meaning of the whole Quran without referring to the translations, insyaAllah Ameen. Because first hand understanding must be so much more moving. Arabic language is rich.

MasyaAllah, the broadness of Islam, the simplicity of achieving OUR best. Goodness is humanly achievable in Islam.. and why not? Islam is a way of life that God has provided for the human that HE created and He knows best - we are made not without weaknesses. Among the constant trial for us as human beings - we will continue to make mistakes and to sin - but we must always sincerely repent and ask for forgiveness, always going back to Allah SWT.

May we all be guided by Allah SWT. Ameen.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

All sorts of men.

"I've rarely said the word 'Lord', unless it's followed by 'of the Rings'. I don't often say 'God' without preceding it with 'Oh my' - from the book 'The Year of Living Biblically. A.J. Jacobs.

Yup, I accidentally read the first few chapters of this book again. I wanted to just check on the author, but ended up reading cause it's insightful and funny.

Funny, but true. For a lot of people. Of course Muslims in Singapore, when they speak of religion, they speak in Malay mostly, and when they refer to the Lord, they say it in Arabic - 'Ya Rabb'

I wanted to post this on my FB status, but then I'm afraid, it might cause a lot of confusion to people who may still be thinking that 'Lord' refers to the omputeh (western's) God, as oppose to Rabb or Allah - refers to THE God that we worship.

Which reminds me of people in the public who are always complaining about what MUIS (Singapore Islamic Religious Council) do or don't do - say or don't say. They think that MUIS can be like any layman, especially those who blurt out complains without thinking of after effects? They have a lot more to consider - public's perceptions, Government's reactions, if what people are demanding them to do is THAT important in the first place to jeopardise all that they are working towards?

But this is life on earth. We can't expect every man to understand and every man to know. There are other things I may not understand and I may not know. Fact : there exists all sorts of men.

unplugged and kind of written in a stupor.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Niqab, Hijab or Nothing

Firstly, I'm asking myself, how come a Non-Muslim have to initiate & is facilitating this discussion amongst these three Muslimahs. But on the other hand, because the facilitator is Non-Muslim, we hear unbiased and real questions.

Then, I'm very glad, the three Muslimahs carried out the discussion with ethics - not slamming one another and each of them respecting the other's choice. Alhamdulillah.

And I have my own comments on some of the issues raised.

1) On other people's perception and reactions towards hijab/niqab-wearing Muslimahs.

I would have turned the question around. What about when we 'Easterners' see, almost naked Western women hanging around in our public area. We are also not comfortable, especially with our children around, and for a valid reason. We have to put up with THAT, why can't they put up with us being covered up?? It's all about realising that different ppl have different religion, climate, culture and we dress differently. And we have to learn to tolerate as long as it does not physically harm us.

2) On the facilitator's question : "How can I trust you, and get a feel for what you're saying if I can't see your entire face?"

I think we CAN tell what the woman was feeling and if we can trust her as we see her speak, with her niqab on. Can't you? You can also tell from the eyes. Lame excuse and reason this is.

3) Are men and women equal?


Of course not lah.. can't you see the obvious? Men are made differently from women. We both have been assigned specific functions - e.g. women bear babies. How to ever make men equal to women like that?? We both have our strength and weaknesses. Women are better and some things, and men at others. But there are also a lot of stuff that both women and men can do just as well, like eating. Ok lah.. and doing some chores.. like washing dishes.. calculating numbers.. these other general tasks/jobs where both men and women do - who does it better is really dependent on individuals and cannot be generalised. In this world, nothing is black and white.. and nothing is all black or all white.

And she mentioned why men don't have to cover. two things. Men ALSO have to cover.. but men don't have bosoms - they don't have to cover THAT. And there not much issue with men! Most of the time - men dress more decently than women. Even at work - all men dress decent & smart, some women dress like slut. (eh... that rhymes!)

Anyhow.. I'm glad all of them are so sure of themselves, and of the reasons why they make their own choices. We respect each other's choices. In the end, only we know ourselves, if we're sincere about our choices or just justifying what we still know deep down inside, is wrong. We have no right to ridicule or to judge anyone - for only Allah knows what is in their heart and what is our ends in this world and our reward in the Hereafter.

In Imam Nawawi's 40 Hadith, there is one hadith hasan, which is among my favourite, and a guiding internal control for me.

(a good hadith - but not to the level of authentic - masyaAllah.. this is another whole topic on how strict the conditions are for a hadith to be classified as authentic - and how good it is to be classified as good.

Just to give a feel of how authentic and good a hadith is when classified as authentic or good - for most if not all of current day messages, that we hear and pass to others, whether at work or at home - by the science of hadith classification standards - all of it would be classified as either weak or false - for various reasons. Interesting? go read the science of hadith.

Ok digressed.

So the hadith I was talking about :

According to Wabisah bin Ma'bad, radiyallahu 'anhu, who said:

I came to the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, and he said: "You have come to ask about righteousness ?" " Yes," I answered. He said: "Consult your heart. Righteousness is that about which the soul feels tranquil and the heart feels tranquil, and sin is what creates restlessness in the soul and moves to and fro in the breast, even though people give you their opinion (in your favour) and continue to do so."

[A good hadith transmitted from the Musnads of the two Imams, Ahmad bin Hanbal and Al-Darimi]