Madame Blossom's Book of Poems

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

our roles and positions on earth

"Is it they who would portion out the Mercy of their Lord? It is We who portion out between them their livelihood in the life of this world; and We raise some of them above others in ranks, so that some may command work from others; But the Mercy of thy Lord is better than the (wealth) which they amass."

Zukhruf 43:32


I was downloading a sound file onto my handphone, from the internet via wifi - and I suddenly thought about the process.

Can you imagine, taking our voices or any sound, turning it into some binary codes 0s and 1s. Then storing it somewhere in the far western part of the world, then make it travel through the atmosphere and then it gets identified as the specific set of codes called upon, to be retrieved and put into my handphone.

The fact that sounds can be recorded and reproduced is in itself amazing.

It is found that what we experience as 'sound' is actually caused by minute and very quick vibrations created on the thing that produces the sound. These vibrations are dispersed out, like waves, and gets transported through the available mediums (e.g. air or even solid). Then when the vibration hits our eardrums, it produces the sound to us. In the old days, voices or sounds are simply recorded by imprinting these vibrations. Now, these vibrations are stored digitally by translating it into bytes (0s and 1s)

But of course, it will never be the same as we seeing it or hearing it in person, because the quality of these original apparatus can never be beaten. In fact as I've blogged about before, these awesome gadgets and capabilities created derived from natural sources, utilised by man, is only a sieved out part of the whole Nature - which surely is so much more awesome and amazing.

Observing how amazing nature is, how sound and images can be reproduced, how cloning is possible, man in modern days should find it easier to believe how we can die, our body decompose, and then be made to rise and live again on Judgement Day.

I guess I have digressed quite a bit from the amazement about downloading a sound file.

BUT, truly, doesn't it all come down to this? Were we not asked to ponder about the Signs of Allah SWT in the very Nature than Allah has created?

In the end... Subhanallah, Allahu Akbar!

p.s. the sound file is still in the process of being downloaded from the time I started this till now.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The jihad to do good

The avowed enemy, Syaitan, when he can't convince us to do a bad deed, he tries to stop us from doing a good deed by trying to convince us that we're doing it to show off, and therefore shouldn't. If we fall for that, he wins, we lose.

How I try to overcome this is by asking myself what or who did I think of when the idea first occurred? Was I thinking about someone I was trying to impress? Or was I thinking about the thing I wanted to do or the person I wanted to help?

Another test to know if my intention is true, is to ask myself honestly, if I would do it, if no one knows or acknowledge. If the answer is an easy yes, masyaAllah, then I shrug the Syaitan off. That helps me ascertain my true intention. Then I istighfar, to ask Allah SWT for forgiveness if then the thought of trying to impress somebody did cross my mind. Keepinge in mind that Allah SWT is Oft Forgiving and All-Knowing, I go ahead and do what I intended to do.

But what if our initial intention WAS to impress someone? Do we just abandon the intention to do the good deed?

I think we should rethink our intention, istighfar, and do it.

May Allah grant us strength in this constant jihad within ourselves. Aamiin.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Caught in the act

After my Isya' prayers, I comfortably lay down on my bed, tucked my feet under the blanket, and picked up the book I was finishing. It's Akira Kurosawa's 'Something like an Autobiography'.

On the section of Random Notes on Filmmaking, I came to read this passage:

"I've forgotten who it was that said creation is memory. My own experiences and the things I have read remain in my memory and become the basis upon which I create something new. I couldn't do it out of nothing. For this reason, since the time I was a young man, I have always kept a notebook handy when I read a book. I write down my reactions and what particularly moves me. I have stacks and stacks of these notebooks, and when I go off to write a script, these are what I read. Somewhere, they always provide me with a point of breakthrough. Even for single lines of dialogue I have taken from these notebooks. So, what I want to say is don't read books while lying down on a bed."


I thoroughly enjoyed this book. At the end of the book, I felt like I personally knew him.

But, of course I don't.

Like he said, people tend to write a good description of themselves, or even a description that is more towards the type of person they'd like to be, but not necessarily is. Most of the time too, people would leave out the negative or ugly parts.

But then again, of course, right? I mean, who in the right mind, would write about their ugly parts for the public to read. As Muslims we are told not to go reveal our personal sins to others - just acknowledge it personally to God, and ask for forgiveness.

Anyway, like I said, I enjoyed the book. Apart from some of the funny incidences he related, I think a lot can be learnt from this man's thoughts about life in general, and filmmaking.

Friday, February 24, 2012

these happy events

I have so many things to express. So many things going through my mind, one after another.

[One after another - reminds me of the paper Leen let me read on 'multi tasking', which was found to be counter-productive. So one AFTER another is better than thinking/doing a few things at the same time.]

One after another are also the blessings I have received from Allah SWT in the last few weeks, among His other 'permanent' blessings (such as IMAN and the ability to breath and eat and go to the toilet normally, family, friends.. countless). Alhamdulillah!

I posted 3 of these rare blessings on my FB wall yesterday - I felt that I had my reasons. The first was about my films which will be screened to the general public. I'm hoping with the announcement, some people who had wanted to see my films can go and bring their friends if they want to. I'm also happy that it will be shown to the general public because the objective of making these films is to spread the messages contained in the films.

Then, about not being able to BE at the screenings because, alhamdulillah, I'll be in Makkah doing my umrah, insyaAllah. Then, suddenly I received news that my son won a golf tournament in KL. I felt I had to share this with friends and family who would be happy to know and would probably feel hurt if we kept quiet about it.

By this time, I suddenly felt quite tired of seeing my own posts about 'good' things happening. Don't get me wrong; of course I DO, I DO appreciate and am happy with these blessings. MasyaAllah, alhamdulillah - la hawla wa la quwwata illa billah.

However, it also got me thinking about a few things.

1/ I was afraid that people may think that I don't suffer from any misfortune - nothing bad ever happens. Of course that is not true. Surely some bad things also happen to us - causing us to grieve or be angry or disappointed. However, normally I would accept that in silence and supplicate to Allah SWT for assistance, and perhaps only share it with a few close, trusted friend/s.

2/ in the few moments of one good news after another, I had a sensation, or should I say, a realisation that as a normal human being, put on this earth, it's not normal for one to have only blessings and no difficulties at all. It seems unreal and unnatural. I started to worry. I felt that if we constantly get these blessings... (wait... I shouldn't use the word 'blessings' - being alive is a blessing in itself, and that does not equate to happiness all the time. What shall we call those things? Achievements? Things that gives us temporary bliss and happiness? Oh, let's just call it 'happy events') So, I felt that if we constantly have these 'happy events', it stunts our emotional growth, our ability to emphatise, to withstand hardships, to learn.

I see a bit more now, how difficulties and challenges are the ones that nourish us as human beings in our growth to be a better human being.

3/ I, my family, and everyone else must remember and understand that these 'happy events', the good things we receive on this earth are all a part of the series of tests that Allah gives to his servants. It's important for us to realise that these are all very temporary, that it can be taken away at any time, just as it has been given to us. As such, we must not be too proud of it, or too attached to it.

"That which is on earth We have made but as a glittering show for the earth, in order that We may test them, as to which of them are best in conduct."
Al-Kahf 18:7

We must remember to thank Allah... and I see how the surah An-Nasr acts as a good reminder for us. We praise Allah for these successes, not forgetting to seek forgiveness from him in our happiness, in fear that even for a moment, we forget that all these comes from Allah SWT.

"When comes the Help of Allah, and Victory,
And thou dost see the people enter Allah's Religion in crowds,
Celebrate the praises of thy Lord, and pray for His Forgiveness: For He is Oft-Returning (in Grace and Mercy)."
An-Nasr 110:1-3

p.s. ** I'd like to say here, that when I quote a translation of the Quran, that, firstly, this is not THE word of Allah - it's a translation. Some ideas or true intent of the original words, most of the time, they get lost in translation. What more the word of the Creator, whose knowledge is way beyond what we can even begin to comprehend.

Another thing is that, these ayats that I quote, is in relation to how it applies to ME in MY life. Or how it affected my thoughts or triggered it, within my own capacity. It may affect you in the same way, or not. Or it may affect you even more. I feel that our relationship and experience with the Quran, for each of us, will be in our own unique ways. Sincerity is key. May Allah guide us, and may we be guided, when we take the Quran as one of our guide (the other is Rasulullah SAW), as Allah has asked us to.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

We are born, believers.

There was a study by a Western scholar, Dr Justin Barrett, on the natural state of a child; children are born, believing in a Supreme Being.

"Children's normally and naturally developing minds make them prone to believe in divine creation and intelligent design. In contrast, evolution is unnatural for human minds; relatively difficult to believe."


Allah says in the Quran:

And (remember) when thy Lord brought forth from the Children of Adam, from their reins, their seed, and made them testify of themselves, (saying): Am I not your Lord? They said: Yea, verily. We testify. (That was) lest ye should say at the Day of Resurrection: Lo! of this we were unaware"

Al-Araf 7:172

Ya Allah, make us die as believers too. Aamiin.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Uslub Al Hakim

A few moments after the slight shock when I swerved to avoid a near accident, my 10 year old daughter said nicely, "ibu, if you can take that near-accident scene just now, and put it into your 'patience' video.. the video lagi better eh?"

"Dear, are you trying to tell me to be more patient while driving?"
She smiled and nodded.

The lesson I learnt from my daughter is how we can choose our words wisely and how we can advise others so gently.

Of course, the other lesson is to be more patient while driving. :)

The awesome thing is, yesterday I have just completed reading (or skimming) through the Balaghah book, which explains the beauty of classical Arabic language. The last point I read in the book is about 'Uslub Al Hakim' - Uslub is something like 'the construct of a speech' and Al Hakim is 'the wise'. So, the construct of a speech by the wise. The beauty of uslub al hakim are the chosen words and method of putting across a message that would be most effective, subtle and in a gentle way. It can also be used to reveal or inform something which may not be 'good to know' to the listener, which makes it easier for the listener to accept. Then I see it being practised by my 10 year old daughter.

I hope the world will not spoil her wonderful mind and the innocent minds of all youngsters. And I hope we adults can regain those qualities too. Aamiin.

Monday, February 20, 2012

A lesson from Surah Al-Kahf

One of the stories told in Surah Al Kahf, is that of the Prophet Musa A.S. and his assistant (identified as Yusha Bin Nun) when he met another Prophet of Allah, identified as Al-Khidr in another hadith. It's interesting why he was called 'Al-Khidr' which means green. A hadith explains that he is called Al Khidr because when he sat on a brown (dry) pasture, it turned green. Subhanallah.

So surah Al-Kahf tells us of how Musa A.S. (Moses) went in search of this knowledgeable servant of Allah SWT (Al-Khidr) with his assistant. When they found Al-Khidr, Musa asked if he could follow him. Al-Khidr warned Musa that he would not have the patience to do so. Musa promised he will try, insyaAllah. Al Khidr agreed and told Musa not to question him about anything that he was going to witness, until he himself explains to Musa about the matter. Musa agreed.

I'll get the story direct of the Quran translation. This is by Asad. (Al-Kahf 18:71-82)

And so the two went on their way, till (they reached the seashore; and] when they disembarked from the boat [that had ferried them across], the sage made a hole in it-[whereupon Moses] exclaimed: "Hast thou made a hole in it in order to drown the people who may be [travelling] in it? Indeed, thou hast done a grievous thing!"

He replied: "Did I not tell thee that thou wilt never be able to have patience with me?"

Said [Moses]: "Take-me not to task for my having forgotten [myself], and be not hard on me on account of what I have done!"

And so the two went on, till, when they met a young man, [the sage] slew him -(whereupon Moses] exclaimed: "Hast thou slain an innocent human being without [his having taken] another man's life? Indeed, thou hast done a terrible thing!"

He replied: "Did I not tell thee that thou wilt never be able to have patience with me?"

Said [Moses]: "If, after this, I should ever question thee, keep me not in thy company: [for by] now thou hast heard enough excuses from me."

And so the two went on, till, when they came upon some village people, they asked them for food; but those [people] refused them all hospitality. And they saw in that (village] a wall which was on the point of tumbling down, and [the sage] rebuilt it[whereupon Moses] said: "Hadst thou so wished, surely thou couldst [at least] have obtained some payment for it?"

[The sage] replied: "This is the parting of ways between me and thee. [And now] I shall let thee know the real meaning of all [those events] that thou wert unable to bear with patience: as for that boat, it belonged to some needy people who toiled upon the sea -and I desired to damage it because (I knew that] behind them was a king who is wont to seize every boat by brute force.

"And as for that young man, his parents were [true] believers - whereas we had every reason to fear that he would bring bitter grief upon them by [his] overweening wickedness and denial of all truth: and so we desired that their Sustainer grant them in his stead [a child] of greater purity than him, and closer [to them] in loving tenderness.

"And as for that wall, it belonged to two orphan boys [living] in the town, and beneath it was [buried] a treasure belonging to them [by right]. Now their father had been a righteous man, and so thy Sustainer willed it that when they come of age they should bring forth their treasure by thy Sustainer's grace. "And I did not do (any of] this of my own accord: this is the real meaning of all [those events] that thou wert unable to bear with patience."

This story shows us how a misfortune we face can have a hikmah behind it. It may look bad to us as it happens, like in the cases above. Imagine if we were the boatman who found our boat, having a hole in it. We would most probably have thought that it is indeed a misfortune. However the hikmah behind it was that, the 'misfortune' saved the boatman from the king's atrocities.

Another thing we learn is that these hikmah's may not happen soon after a misfortune. May not happen the following week or month or even year. In the case of the boatman, he may realise the hikmah only in the few days/weeks after; for the parents, it could be a few years; and for the orphans, the hikmah awaiting them were to be made known to them only many many years later, when they have grown up.

As such we need to have faith in what Allah has planned for us. Whatever happens to us, can be to our own benefit, if only we know how to face it and accept it...
(and that reminds me of some words from a song by Jason Mraz - Details in the Fabric
If it's a broken part, replace it
If it's a broken arm then brace it
If it's a broken heart then face it )

Right... so as I was saying - it can be for our own benefit if we face it the right way, accepting it as God's test for us or as a misfortune before a hikmah - which in turn will earn us the reward for being servant of Allah who is patient in adversities. InsyaAllah.

May Allah SWT make us among the patient ones. Aamiin.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The intricacies of Arabic words

Have to learn Arabic, have to know.. even if it's just a little bit each day.

How words are being used in the Quran is so intricate - the selection of the words, the tense.. it all has deeper meaning. This is what I hope to FEEL and know in my heart, when I read the Quran. Aamiin ya Robbal A'lamiin.

In any case, I'm happy to learn something new about this word (walyatalatthof) used in surah Al Kahf.

If you understand Malay, this is a nice informative article exploring the word 'walyatalatthof' by Ustaz Hasrizal. May Allah reward him for his good effort.

Menyantuni Manusia Dengan WALYATALATTHOF

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

zombie & more on atoms and protons

Zombie : The term is often figuratively applied to describe a hypnotized person bereft of consciousness and self-awareness, yet ambulant and able to respond to surrounding stimuli.

There are a lot of them out there.. my dear sisters and brothers, let's save our souls.

Sometimes I feel afraid to say much. I don't know much. Other people seem to know much more already - they don't need reminders or advice.

What am I doing? Am I doing the right thing? Saying the right thing? I continue to learn, through my mistakes.

:D The points above seem unrelated, but actually they are. Maybe, this is what you call 'spacey' - you'd have to build your own bridge linking from one point to the other. Oh well.

Okay, today's ayat to ponder upon:
"Assuredly the creation of the heavens and the earth is a greater (matter) than the creation of men; yet most men understand not. Not equal are the blind and those who (clearly) see; nor are the (equal) those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, and those who do evil. Little do ye learn by admonition!" Ghafir 40:57:58

MasyaAllah.. how true. We see from the way some of us act and talk. Some of us just don't know.

This afternoon I was just exploring further into the make up of an atom because I was talking to Fazilah about how scientist has proven 'fate'. Well, they don't use the word fate. They explained it in a scientific way in which they experimented with a proton, and how they could determine the state of a proton at any given time. Or given the state of the proton they can get the time. (something I got from Fabric of the Cosmos - Briane Green).

Man, who has spent thousands or perhaps millions of dollars creating machines and labs to study the state of a single proton, and that's how much they can do now. As such, even though they know they can identify the state of a proton at any given time, it is impossible for them with their (VERY) limited capacity to even estimate the state of a person or even a leaf, or even a coin - because they have only managed to work with single or double protons. Whereas, just a small coin, is made of of trillions of atoms and every single atom is made up of.. let's see nickel...28 protons. Can you even begin to imagine the awesomeness and the Greatness of the creations of Allah SWT?? How complex a simple matter is, and how that simple matter make up this whole world and universe.. Subhanallah.. it's beyond our grasps. Even the scientists.

Yet, many men think they are very capable, and that they know a lot. How arrogant some men are. Naudzubillah. :'(

Saturday, February 11, 2012

balance and rights

We must strike a balance in our lives. Yes, when we are employed, the employer has some right over us, but we must not neglect that our family has a right over us too, we have a right over ourselves.

Even the the worship of God, we are told to strike a balance in our lives, as the Prophet tells us:

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) once asked a companion: "(Is it true) that you fast all day and stand in prayer all night?" The companion replied that the report was indeed true. The Prophet then said: "Do not do that! Observe the fast sometimes and also leave (it) at other times. Stand up for prayer at night and also sleep at night. Your body has a right over you, your eyes have a right over you and your wife has a right over you."
- Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Hadith 127

Friday, February 10, 2012

The day-moon. Subhanallah.

"Thou causest the Night to gain on the Day and Thou causest the Day to gain on the Night.."

but the moon?

"The sun and the moon follow courses (exactly) computed."

(references : Ali Imran 3:27, Ar Rahman 55:5)

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

concretes surroundings

Roses are not all red;
Violets are not all blue
If we didn’t know that,
then, maybe we should get out of these concrete surroundings,
get these glaring gadgets out of our faces,
and experience Nature for a change.


Monday, February 06, 2012

Az Zumar

note to self : something to read and understand more on.

3 - Is it not to Allah that sincere devotion is due? But those who take for protectors others than Allah (say) : "We only server them in order that they may bring us nearer to Allah. " Truly Allah will judge between them in that wherein they differ. But Allah guides not such as are false and ungrateful.

18 - Those who listen to the Word, and follow the best (meaning) in it, those are the ones whom Allah has guided and those are the ones endued with understanding.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

branded goods

I know you work hard for your money and I'm filthy rich.
However, I assure you, giving me that big bulk of your hard-earned money for my product that only cost $20 to produce, will make you look good to others who suspect that you depend on my name showing on the things you wear for your illusion of self confidence, is worth it.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

An atom's weight of good

During the old times when Muslims came up with knowledge about the stars, numbers and algebra, they learnt in order to understand God's creations, God's message - and answering the insistent invitation by God in the Quran to see, hear, think, understand.

I am a believer that education should be achieved in order to increase our Faith and to achieve good deeds in making life better for others, our family and ourselves. After all, that is the purpose of our life on earth. Utopian idea, I know.

Anyway, as an example of how knowledge can be taught, in which the lesson learnt has it's roots from the Quran, is as follows. In wanting to understand the ayat:

"And so, he who shall have done an atom's weight of good, shall behold it;
and he who shall have done an atom's weight of evil, shall behold it."
(Az-Zalzalah 99:7-8, Asad's Tr.)

..we can raise the interest in learning about atoms and calculating it - in order for us to see the Greatness of Allah in his Creations - and the meaning of that measurement to our own deeds.


"The shopowner gave us 10 cents extra in change."
"Keep lah, never mind.. it's only 10 cents."

There is no matter too small in good or bad deeds, when Allah has informed us that a deed even the weight of an atom will be accounted for.
Do you know how many atom it takes to make up a 10-cents coin?

25,139,303,859,414,700,000,000 atoms.


Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Time out.

This morning, I signaled to filter into the other lane, in order to exit from the highway. The cab in that lane was far behind. But as soon as I signaled, he bloody picked up speed to block me from coming in. There was still a lot of space in front of him so I gently tried to go ahead of him, but he picked up speed again to block.. I lost my temper and I started using my hands frantically and angrily to tell him that I'm trying to filter OUT DAMN IT! I'M NOT TRYING TO OVERTAKE YOUR EGO! ARRGH!!

I managed to filter in, and get to the other side. As he passed by me and shook his head and his pointed (index) finger like expressing 'tch tch tch, no good.' Bleargh.

I am quite sad, that I succumbed to the anger. Now I'm grouchy... hmm I think I was grouchy since morning - from experiencing the lack of good manners and attitude - and then myself included.

Now I feel like hiding from the world. I need a time-out.