Madame Blossom's Book of Poems

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What is your religion?

Is it rude to ask someone what their religion is?

Or perhaps that's not exactly the issue. Maybe it's better to ask, what they believe in. Who do they worship?
God? do they create partners for God? Or do they worship the world instead?

Maybe elaborating the question is uncalled for? That's like nagging already - if the person has not answered the first question.

It seems to me that discussion about faith and religion is like a taboo in Singapore. People feel like it's very private. Or they feel ashamed to talk about it.. or they don't really think about it in the first place.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Why change?

Sometimes for the sake of 'change' that is the 'in' thing in the 'modern' world now, organisations feel obliged to change their process and system after a while, EVEN IF it is/was working well for the organisation. Sometimes, the newly changed system even complicates the work flow and the outcome is worse than before. Then they assign manpower to resolve these newly created issues and try to work around them with some manual or off-the-system work.

This happens even in big organisations. You know actually, it's in big organistions that these things are more likely to happen. The bigger the organisation, the harder it is for.. someone.. to manage quality. Sincere quality. Everyone is employed to carry out their duties - it's not their money that they are spending anyway, it's the company's and what's the point of making a point, if the leaders don't understand, and you're only jeopardising your position in the organisation by having a point that goes against the 'flow'. Nobody likes surprises in the organisation. They just want to get their day over and done with. So let's just let whatever it is, come and go. And so the monster organisation's expenditure and the quest for GREED! growth, grows bigger without real thought.. it's just a glob growing out of control, contributing to even more wastage, greed and invisible evil in the world.

I digressed.

Back to 'change'. Why fix it if it's not broken? Why change your furniture if it's not broken?
Why lay off people if you can afford to give them the means to support themselves through the job you are providing? (digressed a bit again.)
WHY?

Can you see all these people getting carried away in the gushing stream of illusions of modernity?

Monday, November 28, 2011

the strong, the weak, and me

A person's feelings are very complex. When people react, they are not reacting to THE situation alone, but to a series of situations that they went through, which may or may not be related to the situation at hand.

It takes quite a lot of mental and emotional strength to withhold it from being expressed inappropriately, in terms of time, place, intensity or method. I guess that's why people say, it takes a strong man to walk away from a fight (a strong lady to walk away or ignore an argument or mindless comments that may hurt).

If we're weak, we will fall into the situation very easily, without any resistance. The strong ones, will be able to keep their cool.

I'm still working on it - keeping my cool and totally ignoring the noises - without being too hard on myself... because I know, Allah is Oft-Forgiving because He loves me. Aamiin.

Friday, November 25, 2011

"Hi. I want to be Muslim."

If a person comes up to us and says that he wants to be Muslim. What would we do? Do we tell him to look up Darul Arqam, Singapore on the internet? Do we tell him to come back another day, because the mosque office is closed? Or do we look at the tattoo on his arms and tell him that we don't think he can do that?

NO.

We should ask him for confirmation, if he believes in One God. Next if he believes that Muhammad SAW is the slave and Messenger of God. When the answers to both are 'yes' to both - ask him to bear witness verbally in Arabic, to what he just said he believes. (Saying the syahadah). Alhamdulillah, he is Muslim.

T-H-E-N, you can direct him to people or places where he can learn about Islam further, e.g. Darul Arqam.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

to invite graciously

Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance

An Nahl 16:125 (transliteration by Yusof Ali) .

Monday, November 21, 2011

Woman's picture and sexism

So, just now (I know it's early.. I had to send my daughter to school by 5am, thus the extra early morning)... yup, just now, I opened FB, (Why do we feel the need to open FB everytime we are at the computer?? anyway..). and a photographer friend, posted a picture of a woman dressed in short night dress, seated hugging her knees, revealing almost all of her legs, and looking far with a tinge of smile. Then a guy commented on the photo, "very nice expression! its like; 'where can i find the love of my life' =D". A lady replied, "yeah, because what every woman's life ultimately revolves around is finding the one. ‎...you know i was being sarcastic right, xxx? because you made such a sexist assumption about the photo?"

I found that interesting.

I, of course, am against sexism in the sense that women are being exploited like that. (..but on the topic of sexist, there is a whole lot of other points to consider - I'm not totally against sexism). Actually it went through my mind as I was looking at the picture, before reading the comments, why more often than not, it's always a woman and not a man's photo? In this particular case, why do women, in the first place, agree to be photographed as an 'object of desire'. And then this lady is unhappy that the guy commented like that? (he was not even talking about something closer to the subject of sex.. which is the ultimate message )

I mean.. WHAT on earth (other than seeking a mate) COULD a sexy picture mean? It'd be interesting to know what thoughts the lady think, could be the explaining expression in that picture. Perhaps, "Oh, how I miss my mother." or "I wish I had been nicer to the old lady crossing the road yesterday." "Aaah.. work later. I love work."?

I posted that comment - about the other possible thoughts. I thought twice about commenting, decided to do it and let her think about it. And I seriously would like to know what her thoughts are. That is of course, if she knows I was being sarcastic.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

the mental disability

Inability to THINK rationally and make informed judgements and statements, is a common disability in the current world where information fed to the public are framed, sporadic and has no real truth or meaning. What most of these fed 'information' aims to do is to market an opinion, to be imprinted into the minds of those with this mental disability.

Ya Allah, save us from this disease. Aamiin.

Monday, November 14, 2011

getting interested

Sometimes we wonder, right? How come all these new reverts to Islam, in their stories about their conversion to Islam, you can see how sure and determined they are about their choosing Islam, and how much MORE they want to spread the message of Islam, than us born-Muslims.

How is that so?

It's quite obvious it's because they FOUND and UNDERSTOOD Islam. They made a conscious choice. Whereas born-Muslims, we don't even think about it. Some of us are just doing things like robots, we don't even know why we do the things we do in Islam.
But reverts, they are INTERESTED in the religion and therefore they are learning more about Islam. That would be quite natural, to be able to learn about something you're truly interested in, more easily and in a shorter period of time.

So, we born-Muslims, I think we need to start questioning ourselves about our own faith and how much we know about our own religion. Once you're eager to learn, and you do, you will find the beauty of Islam. And after that time, you really MEAN it when you say, 'Thank you Allah, for making us Muslims.'

The lost generation

Just now I was reading this article from National Geographic about the "Lost fortresses of Sahara revealed". MasyaAllah, it reminds me of a number of verses in the Quran which speaks of generations destroyed. One close example to this article is found in Al Anaam.

"See they not, how many a generation We destroyed before them, whom We had established in the earth more firmly than We have established you, and We shed on them abundant showers from the sky, and made the rivers flow beneath them. Yet we destroyed them for their sins, and created after them another generation."
6:6 Al-Anaam (transliteration by Pickthall).


And even we, with our so called advancement in computers and technology, and sadly, evil too - who will save us from the wrath of Allah SWT, if He wants to destroy us?

Ya Allah, do guide us, and save us from your Torment. آمين

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Aamiin (آمين), Amiin (أمين), and Amin (أمن).

Sometimes, I feel the need to spell out in Arabic, because as you may be aware there are accuracy issues when spelling out in roman letters. E.g. in Arabic, there is the س and ص and in roman letters, we'd just indicate that as 's'. Then sometimes, it has to do with identifying between مين or من , some people will simply put 'min' some people may put 'miin' but do all people who read it understand what that is suppose to mean? (no pun intended). And these, read wrongly, changes the intended meaning.

Yesterday, I was thinking about Aamiin. I had the urge to be sure, and find out more about this word I'm uttering daily. Aamiin - this is how I'm going to spell it in roman letters from now on, or maybe just use the clearer Arabic word itself.  In the past, I've always spelt it as Ameen. Now, I have just learnt the differences :-\.

Aamiin, In Arabic alphabets is spelled as آمين. with that longer sound at alif.  Amiin ( أمين ), has a different meaning. It means ''honest or trustworthy' like Rasulullah SAW, was known as Al Amiin, the trustworthy. If it's just Amin (أمن), it means 'peace, secure'.

Whereas aamiin (آمين ), when I checked the Mawrid (المورد), it indicates the English word 'Amen'. I'm not surprised, I can understand how they mean the same thing - these people's original religion, is the one religion of the same God. So, anyway, Amen, in the English dictionary, shows the meaning to be 'so be it'. As in 'May God make it be.'

So, that's what I understand of Aamiin now.

Allahua'lam. الله أعلم (Allah knows best).



Friday, November 11, 2011

:-\

Astaghfirullah.

I'm not sure. Do I sound arrogant in my updates or my emails or my replies by text?
Or even in person?

Sometimes, maybe I feel too eager to share my thoughts. Making effort to be firm in my principles. I sound arrogant?
Which is why sometimes, I don't like talking to people. I don't want to talk too much and say things the wrong way.
I hate feeling like this. If there is any tinge of arrogance in my heart, Ya Allah, please take it away.

Silence is virtue.

Abis.. kalau orang berbual dengan kita? Kalau orang tanya? How?
Haih.. please do forgive me, if I take a while to respond.
And I don't really like talking in person, because it doesn't give me much time to think about how to respond in the best way.
But if you do talk to me in person, and I am quiet, please know that I'm just trying my best.

If I have nothing good to say, I'll try to be quiet.
But what if there is something you feel is good, that you want to share?

Or, is this the work of syaitan the avowed enemy? Putting doubts in efforts to share what I sincerely believe is a positive idea? I only believe it's a positive idea lah, but Allah knows best.

Take a measured step, madame. In everything you say or do.
It's a constant struggle, but I'll try my best.
Ya Allah, help me.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

elusive decision makers

It's sad, how petty we need to be
over written confirmations of something agreed on.
Everybody needs to cover their ______s.

Some bosses, who are paid big sums to MAKE decisions,
are pushing the responsibility and ownership
to their subordinates.

If something good happens, they take credit
if something bad happens, they push the blame.
How did these people get to be up there?

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Read that Book.

"Have you ever read the Bible?"
"Yeah, in church. You know, we all read the Bible in church... and we did have Bible studies, we'd read a few passages and talk for 2 hours about those few passages"
"No, no no, I mean have you ever read it, like a book, from beginning to end?"
"Oh. No.. I don't know anybody who has ever read it from beginning to end."
"But this is the word of God, this is our instructions on earth, so why haven't we read it?"
"You know, that's a very good question."
"Let us read the Bible. Let us see what God has to say to us...and start from Genesis 101."
"You're right. That's very good. I have a lot of time on my hands... why not? Let's read the Bible."
"We should not think of anything that we've ever heard of about Christianity. Let's say, like we had just found the Bible in the desert and just open it, and start reading it, and see what is says to me.. let it talk to us."
(Excerpts from a conversation of two Christians guys. One of them, became a Muslim.)

What about us, Muslims? Have we read the Quran from beginning to end? Possibly in Arabic and understanding it lah. But if you don't understand arabic - then read the translation of the Quran, from beginning to end. Try to read the translation of more than one translators.

I imagine doing this with The Quran. That is, imagining that you're in the desert, and suddenly you find this Book. This Book of Guidance. And you read it. I am quite sure, it'll have me at 'Bismillah'. And I'm quite sure also, that for me, by the end of the 5th verse of the 2nd surah, I would be in awe, and truly believe that this is indeed a book of Guidance, from God.

Friday, November 04, 2011

bertahan..

Tiap hari aku terdengar bisikanmu
Tiap kali kau cuba menggoda ku
Tapi kau tetap akan ku lawan
Sampai mati aku bertahan.

Setan betul.

Semuga aku kuat
untuk terus berjihad
Sampai ke akhir hayat.
Ameen.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Travelling with the Tangerine and Ibn Battutah

I don't have enough wealth and capacity to travel around the world physically. I've resorted to reading travel books.

I've just finished my travels with Tim Mackintosh-Smith, from Morocco to Turkey, from 1300s to current time.

It's great. :) Will write more if time, mind and Allah permits. Got to go to work now!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Technology immigrant

I was just reading a book where the author mentioned 'speaking in telegram language'. I laughed. Suddenly I realise I am that old enough to understand that, and to have been through the transformation from our old pen and paper days into our current modern world. MasyaAllah!

I have been through snail mails (I had a pen pal when I was a young girl) , typewriters with carbon papers (after A levels I did a short stint as a receptionist cum secretary), telex! This was actually like hard copy e-mails. Basically you send messages electronically to an assigned country code + 5 digit address. But you're charged by number of characters, and the messages received are immediately printed letter by letter on 5 copy carboned and colorful papers. So when we send out telexes, we try to shorten the message and the words as much as we can (much like how ppl are texting now). I remember being good at it. It was fun actually.

Then came the black with green text computers, and Lotus1-2-3 spreadsheets.

Then slowly personal computers made an appearance. But only certain important people had it. When my current company started using emails, I still remember how excited my boss was. "Ok ok.. you send to me already is it? I check. Yes I got it! " Fast forward 15 years, now we're swarmed with emails.

I feel like I'm forever the immigrant of new technologies.

p.s. When I was about 9 or 10, I remember bapak bringing home a machine with green texts. He told me we can write commands and ask the machine to do stuff. I didn't realise then it was a very simple computer. My father, always picking up new technologies. Even today, sometimes he will be the one excited over some new computer or phone application, asking me to try it. :D My bapak.