Madame Blossom's Book of Poems

Monday, December 30, 2013


.. is my new passion for now. I dream of having a beautiful garden of vegetables & fruits, surrounded by flowers, and on window sills.  I hope the dream turns into a reality as I slowly pick up some habits and tips on gardening.

A drama I watched also inspired me to garden. :p  Yeap, dramas and movies should be used as a tool to promote and inspire good and beneficial things.  I want to do a drama or movie too, where the leading girl is a gardener.  But I shouldn't think that far, when even the current one is still very far from production.

Back to gardening, before I digress further.  A friend's husband said, there is no such thing as 'green fingers' - it's just whether you look after and water the plants or not.  As such the definition for 'green fingers' should actually be 'someone who has sustained interest in gardening'  At least sustained until plants grow.  It's not something where you can see the results in a week or two or even a month or two.

So I hope I'll have this sustained interest for a long time to come. Now I call my plants 'sayang' and 'darling'.  I hope my love remains. Aamiin.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Extraordinary moments

When we watch some movies or dramas, and we see the story of those people who have just fallen in love and how extraoridnary every situation is, we forget that we've all had some extraordinary moments with our spouses also, when we first met them, when we are first courted, when we profess our interest to each other, when we were proposed etc. 

If you focus on each of those moments, your thoughts and feelings and the situations surrounding those moments, you'll find that they are extraordinary as in some of the scenes.  Of course only without slow motion and background music.   You can improvise and add them in your memories.

Even now there has been some extraordinary moments, which we let slip without a thought or any sense of appreciation, but we go 'ooh and aah' when it's portrayed in the movies.

It's time to reflect back with gratitude to God about our own lives and our own extraordinary moments.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

See with my eyes dear.

You know I only want the best for you.

I wish I can upload the 'files' of my experiences and lessons to your mind, so that you can think more maturely, and not have to go through the silly mistakes I made.  I wish you see that older people become conservative because of what they have learnt.  And youngsters do most of the things they do now, because they don't know any better. Yet.

I wish I can put this realisation into your head.  And let you see through my mind's eye.

I wish you can have the good parts of my heart, of course, while I still retain mine.  God has power over all things.

I only want you to do what's best for you, according to my own limited knowledge.

But I guess, God has other plans for you, of which the benefits may not be apparent to us yet. And God knows best.

So in any case, insyaa Allah, I will continue to pray that we all have a good ending to this life on earth, so that we can reap the benefits in the Hereafter.  Aamiin.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

How I want to travel

I'd love to go to other countries.  But somehow now, I don't think I'll ever like I've really been there, unless I live there.  To live there means, to work or study there.   Which means that you'll need to travel from your dwelling place to your place of work/study with other locals, perhaps to also get groceries for your own consumption.  The longer the period the better, but even 1 week of doing that, is enough to have a glimpse of the lives of the locals.  

Travelling to a place to eat out all the time and only visit tourist attractions - no longer means having been to a country, for me.

I would love to learn and explore the interesting and beautiful countries of :

1. ..say Egypt perhaps, to learn Arabic - maybe 3-6 months.

2. Korea during autumn/winter, learn Korean 1-2 months. (yes, ok i recently watched Korean dramas)

3. Spain - learn Spanish 1-2 months.

I think that's all for now - the dream.  Will it ever come true?
If Allah have written it for me I guess.  Insyaa Allah. Aamiin.

My only criteria is the place where I stay has a clean running toilet and a clean bed.

p.s. I'm suddenly reminded of the time when I was in Osaka.  I was quite depressed when I first arrived, because I had to leave my young kids to work there for a week.   The hotel room was so small.  I decided to go down to the supermarket and get me some beautiful flowers to place in my hotel room.  It actually cheered me up a bit.  *Tip.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Why preach to others even when there seems no hope.

Surah Al-Araf (7) , Verse 164:

وَإِذْ قَالَتْ أُمَّةٌ مِّنْهُمْ لِمَ تَعِظُونَ قَوْمًا اللَّهُ مُهْلِكُهُمْ أَوْ مُعَذِّبُهُمْ عَذَابًا شَدِيدًا قَالُوا مَعْذِرَةً إِلَىٰ رَبِّكُمْ وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ

When some of them said: "Why do ye preach to a people whom Allah will destroy or visit with a terrible punishment?"- said the preachers:" To discharge our duty to your Lord, and perchance they may fear Him."

(English - Yusuf Ali)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

To do or not to do

The main purpose of a media would be to get the message across to as many people as possible.

However, media is widely been used to deceive as many people as possible.

Media is used to make as much money as possible by creating false happiness and empty dreams among viewers.

Media is used to program the minds of people to subscribe to the idea that they want you to subscribe to.

Media is able to do it, without having to give any reason at all.

Just watch, accept and follow.

Would it make a difference now if I want to use the media to get a sincere and truthful message across to as many people as possible?

Or will it likely be drowned among the media garbage.

That's the receiving part.

Then there is the creation and production part. Many challenges also in these - in trying to stick the original and noble intention.

Without falling into the norms of entertainment media - with no concern for the effect that every single word/act has on the audience.

Without being comfortable in becoming one of them. 

It's funny. You know how you watch movies and sometimes the thinkers try to draw a lesson from it or find the moral of the story.  I believe in most cases - only the writer is on the same wavelength.  Everyone else involved in the production sometimes have no idea what the whole story is about.  Maybe a few dedicated actors/actress may know.  But some I've worked with, had no idea - although they acted out the whole story.   While their fans praise/adore/love their acts and the person they are in the story.

So...  I don't know.  Sometimes it feels like the whole thing is fake and deceiving in itself.

Let's see if my mind and feelings will change about this later.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Rising Seas : Reducing land from it's outlying borders

 National Geographic - Rising Seas (reducing land from it's outlying borders)

Allahu akhbar. I was wondering how this ayat would materialise. Initially I wondered if it would be through war or occupation.

Every word of God proves true.

أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا أَنَّا نَأْتِي الْأَرْضَ نَنقُصُهَا مِنْ أَطْرَافِهَا وَاللَّهُ يَحْكُمُ لَا مُعَقِّبَ لِحُكْمِهِ وَهُوَ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ

"See they not that We gradually reduce the land (in their control) from its outlying borders? (Where) Allah commands, there is none to put back His Command: and He is swift in calling to account."

(Surah Ar-Rad 13:41
English translation by Yusuf Ali)

Use our intellect, our eyes and ears.
Submit to the One God before it's too late
i.e. before we die - don't know where or when.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Science and Religion

Many people fail to realise that God and religion is very much related to Science.

Whatever it is that man study about our own selves, the earth or the universe - is actually a study of God's creations which should make man come to realise through His Creations, God's Perfection and Power over all things.

For anything so perfect, there MUST be a Creator. Perfect things don't happen just by chance.
Just like how you would never imagine a snowman becoming a snowman by chance. What more a human with all the perfect and intelligent inner workings?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Opening a Maybank Account in Malaysia for Singaporeans/foreigners.

To avoid the hassle of going back and forth to the bank and all over the place, here are some tips and pointers for those who want to open an account.

This is from my understanding and my experience.

You will need :
Introducer form, endorsed by introducer and introducer's bank branch.

I was told I cannot open a savings account, since I'm a foreigner. So I must open a Current Account. For Muslims, you can choose an Islamic Current Account.

If you don't have a Maybank Account in Singapore, then if you want to open a current account in Malaysia, you need to have an 'introducer'. The introducer MUST be an existing current account holder in Malaysia, who has issued a cheque in the last 6 months.

This current account holder can be a company or an individual. There is a card form that needs to be filled by the introducer - which they can obtain from their bank branch. Then they need to fill up their account details and for the individual, sign with a signature matching the bank's record. If it's a company, then all signatories required for the banking account must sign the form PLUS the company stamp that was used to open the current bank account.

The bank branch of the introducer will validate the card and endorse it. (sign and stamp).

Only then, with the introducer card, can the foreigner go to Maybank to open a current account.

As for those with a Singapore Maybank Account, I understand from my sister in law that you can apply to open the Malaysian bank account online.

Minimum RM2000 is required for the foreigner to open a current account.

You may as well now apply for phone banking and INTERNET BANKING at the same time. You only need to put a check on those options in the bank account opening form.

At the counter, apply also the TAC (setting your phone number in which the bank can send approval code for your INTERNET BANKING online payments/banking). You'll need to sign a form.

Once you're done, you will get a Maybank Debit Card, and dummy password. You need to go to the ATM (normally outside the bank) to set your Maybank ATM password.

If you have also applied for the internet banking, then you also need to set your INTERNET BANKING activation password from the ATM. You will need this to access your internet banking for the first time online.

When completed, you can only collect your first CHEQUE BOOK in about 3 work days from the day you open the account. They will call you when it's ready and you'll need to collect it within Monday-Friday banking hours.

For internet banking, when you first login, you will be requested for the ATM card no, and the internet banking activation password. Thereafter you set your username and password, along with other security validations.

You should be good now.

That's all I have encountered and learnt so far. I didn't do it smoothly as above, because i had to learn the hard way by going back and forth with my cousin to her bank branch and office, and having delays in activating my internet banking and hitting the TAC problem when trying to pay my bills online for the first time.

So I hope, insyaa Allah, with this it will be smoother for you all.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Like your own bus

On Monday I took the public back to JB, from Singapore. I reached Jurong East about 10pm, and did not wait long to board the Causeway Link bus - CW3. Fare was $4

It took me approximately one hour to reach home. One hour doesn't seem that long, now that I'm commuting daily from JB to Singapore.

At the customs, some passengers from the bus would dash for the immigration counters. My son told me about it previously. He said he felt compelled to run with them when he saw them running. haha. I didn't - I kept my cool.

After the JB customs, when we reached the housing estates around Bukit Indah area - passengers were going up to the driver and telling him exactly where they want to stop, anywhere along the bus route. You don't necessarily need to stop at a bus stop.

One male passenger, went up to the driver, a distance before his stop to tell him where to stop, then started chatting with the driver.
At one point the driver asked all of the passengers if anyone was alighting at a certain neighbourhood, cause he thought perhaps he could skip that route if no one was alighting there. A couple of passengers responded that they were. The driver acknowledged and went that route.

I am actually quite amazed the whole thing. It makes us more human, don't you think? There are interactions and helping others. This is in contrast to Singapore where most services are by the book. People don't communicate with each other or oblige one another. They don't need to speak to each other - it's almost a mechanical robotic routine to board a public bus in Singapore - well the few times I did. To be fair, I have heard of friendly bus drivers in Singapore, who greet their passengers.

Well, I'm glad I took the public bus that day, to experience this normal human contact. Hope to see more of that.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A good email subject

Something very simple such as giving due consideration to having a clear subject (title) in your emails, can improve productivity and reduce frustrations in life.

It is also, I would like to define as, a good email ethic - thinking of it's impact on the recipient and even on yourself when you try to search for the email in future.

A few considerations when thinking of an email subject.

1. When the recipient sees the subject, they immediately know exactly what the email is about.

2. When we look for the email, we can easily identify it by the email subject.

3. It's not too short, nor too long.

Some scenarios of irresponsible email subjects :

a) Have you ever received an email with subject : "PO", when in your work, you receive 20-30 Purchase Orders per day?

b) Or the subject is RE : Lunch at Aiman. But the content is about a factory's request. Of course it didn't start off like that. In the email correspondence, they trailed off to discussing about work, but didn't border to change the email subject.

In the end, say after a few weeks, when you want to refer back to the email for the conclusion, who would have thought it'll be in an email titled, Lunch at Aiman??

c) Email subject shouldn't come with exclamation marks, like : SHIPMENT INFO!! like it's an emergency, and then the content reveals that it's only asking for details of a future shipment.

If email subjects are clear and informative, it could be a good source for knowledge management, which was the buzz a few years ago. (Don't seem to hear much of it now. I guess academic and worldly knowledge ARE replaceable). It could also mean that it will be easier and faster to look for emails.

So.. be.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013


Take time, analyse honestly and deep in your heart, what your intention and your thoughts were, when you call people derogatory names,
e.g. with words that describe a person negatively?

Is it a form of arrogance, that you're not like that?
Though you do have a lot of other flaws, you know - one of them being ignorance.

You think it's just a 'harmless' joke? 'gurau-gurau aje'?

But you HAVE hurt the person's feelings, whether you admit it or not, and it will be accounted for in akhirah.

As for the person on the receiving end, Allah will reward you for patiently taking the crap and forgiving them for their ignorance.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Anti Dumping - Personal Etiquette

DON'T give away old unopened, unfinished foodstuff to other people as 'gifts'.  Nor unwanted clothes or bags or anything that you yourself do not want to keep already to others as dumping ground.

It's fine if you have asked the other person if they would want it, and they accept.  But to force it on them on the pretext of 'gifts', is unethical.  You are transferring the guilt and trouble of having to get rid of unwanted stuff to another person.

How to stop all these dumping? 
AGAIN - stop buying unnecessary stuff, stop giving away thoughtless gifts or passing it on to another!
Let's educate and remind each other.

Everytime you want to give someone a gift - ask yourself, if you would be happy to receive it.

A higher degree of consideration, is to know the person you're giving it to, if they would be happy to receive it, regardless that you wouldn't mind receiving the same gift - because everyone is different.

I know most people quietly accept, then curse or complain behind people's back AND/OR suffer with hoarding problems. Somebody's got to say something. 

Be considerate, even in giving gifts.

"O ye who believe! Give of the good things which ye have (honourably) earned, and of the fruits of the earth which We have produced for you, and do not even aim at getting anything which is bad, in order that out of it ye may give away something, when ye yourselves would not receive it except with closed eyes. And know that Allah is Free of all wants, and worthy of all praise. " (Al Baqarah 2:267 - Translation of the Quran by Yusuf Ali)

Friday, September 20, 2013

'Small' lies.

Looks like funny but it's not actually. This is basically lying.

A true God-conscious Muslim should not do this. But it has become so normal, nobody bats an eyelid to utter, when they'd call 'small' lies.

Small to you maybe, but it may affect the person you lied to in many ways you don't even bother to think about. Forgetting also that no matter how small (even the size of a mustard seed or anything smaller than that), your words and your actions will be accounted for.

If you have iman, this should be a concern.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Greedy Singtel

When you first sign up with Singtel or renew your contract you are forced to accept some services that you don't even want, like Reuters and aAmped.   When I informed that at the point of subscription, they said it's compulsory and they cannot do anything.  Can some additional services be compulsory, and you have to pay for it?!? even if it's about 30 cents per month, I'm not letting them steal my money like that.

You can call 1688 to unsubscribe and refuse to pay the charges. 

All this is happening because of greed.  Or they have manipulated the word and call it 'growth'.   If there is a need for CONSTANT growth in profit, OF COURSE, they'll resort to unscrupulous way of making more and more money - like decreasing 12GB per month data plan to only 2GB.  Then charging $5 if you exceed for every MB.  Next month onwards increase to $10 if you exceed.   All these for no extra work, just making extra money to feed the filthy rich major shareholders.

So I'd rather donate my 30 cents to the poor than give it to Singtel. NO THANK YOU.

In fact. shoots.. I should have changed carrier. will wait out this stupid contract and insyaa Allah change carrier.

Their coverage is also not that good at my house in Singapore. Arrgh. GREEDY SINGTEL! 
Stealing my money subtly with your services.


Friday, August 23, 2013

Work and play (personal time)

An excerpt from 'Vital Lies, Simple Truths' by Daniel Goleman.

"In traditional societies, work and leisure are integrated. Buyer and seller linger over coffee before beginning to haggle; when friends come by, work can be dropped to socialize. The frame o work as we know it (now) is a peculiarity of modern society. It was the British mill owners of the seventeenth and eighteenth centruries who by and large invented our frame for a workday. Even in the early eighteenth century in Britain work offered a high degree of flexibility and independence; whether farmer or trandeman, most people worked at home. Work rhythms by and large went in cycles of intense labor broken by idle, free time." page 203

Yes, I would love to break away from the current frame. I wish to go back to the old frame where life is about personal time is family, self, work all jumbled together is needed - not defined strictly as now, with no access to other roles when we are playing the role or a worker. It's unnatural.

It is actually a cruel expectation - to have the mother stay in the workplace finishing a piece of work, even when her husband or child is sick at home. Or worse, to forget the duties to God, because of minor work commitments.

God help me achieve it. Aamiin.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Cranky Old Man

I love this poem.  It reminds us that there is so much much more to an old person, than meets the eye. So much life experiences and lessons, that we are still struggling to uncover.

When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in an Australian country town, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value.
Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, They found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.

One nurse took her copy to Melbourne. The old man's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas editions of magazines around the country and appearing in mags for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.

And this old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this 'anonymous' poem winging across the Internet.

Cranky Old Man

What do you see nurses? . . .. . .What do you see?
What are you thinking .. . when you're looking at me?
A cranky old man, . . . . . .not very wise,
Uncertain of habit .. . . . . . . .. with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food .. . ... . . and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice . .'I do wish you'd try!'
Who seems not to notice . . .the things that you do.
And forever is losing . . . . . .. . . A sock or shoe?
Who, resisting or not . . . ... lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding . . . .The long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking?. .Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse .you're not looking at me.
I'll tell you who I am . . . . .. As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, .. . . . as I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of Ten . .with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters .. . . .. . who love one another
A young boy of Sixteen . . . .. with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now . . .. . . a lover he'll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty . . . heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows .. .. .that I promised to keep.
At Twenty-Five, now . . . . .I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide . . . And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty . .. . . . . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . .. With ties that should last.
At Forty, my young sons .. .have grown and are gone,
But my woman is beside me . . to see I don't mourn.
At Fifty, once more, .. ...Babies play 'round my knee,
Again, we know children . . . . My loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me . . . . My wife is now dead.
I look at the future ... . . . . I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing .. . . young of their own.
And I think of the years . . . And the love that I've known.
I'm now an old man . . . . . . .. and nature is cruel.
It's jest to make old age . . . . . . . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles .. .. . grace and vigour, depart.
There is now a stone . . . where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass . A young man still dwells,
And now and again . . . . . my battered heart swells
I remember the joys . . . . .. . I remember the pain.
And I'm loving and living . . . . . . . life over again.
I think of the years, all too few . . .. gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact . . . that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people .. . . . .. . . open and see.
Not a cranky old man .
Look closer . . . . see .. .. . .. .... . ME!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Where is the sincerity?

Sincerity is such a subtle and deep feeling.

Sincerity is to not expect anything back from the recipient.  Not at all.  Not even a 'thank you'.
Sincerity in Islam is to only hope for Allah's reward when we do something for other people.

It is spoiled by the media and the masses blatant or ignorant use of the word.  Now you hear it and it almost means nothing special.
But it is something special and deep that most don't understand.

So much so that when we say, we sincerely want to do something, people still ask us what we are expecting out of it.
When we propose for people to sincerely volunteer or contribute, they insist that we should spend some money to provide some token of appreciation.

Where is the sincerity?

Some governments and organisations use public funds to provide services and assistance for those in need.  It's not enough, there are still a lot more to be done, a lot more people to assist.  And then, some government and organisations spend some of that public funds to hold gala dinners to reward themselves for their work, on top of their usual monthly salary.

Where is the sincerity?

It has become such a norm now, that people don't bat an eyelid, using public funds or zakat money to reward themselves. It has become a norm.  They really feel it's wrong NOT to do it.

But norm does not equal right.

Some may think nothing of it. But I worry a lot about it - I don't want to have to answer on Judgement Day.  I think I have already enough sins on a daily basis.  I don't need to risk adding this one.

So please excuse me, if I decline to attend volunteer's appreciation dinners, or extra activities to entertain volunteers etc.   It's not that I want to be anti-social. It's not that I don't want to meet my friends.  We'll meet on a different occasion insyaa Allah.  An occasion where we spend our own money to treat ourselves.

You may disagree with me.  You may be of the opinion that it's okay or required to spend public funds to reward staff and volunteers.  To keep them happy and therefore keep them involved.  (Here again I have to ask, where is the sincerity?)

We can agree to disagree.  But on joining, don't force me.

On Judgement Day, Allah will clarify for us, the things in which we differ.  I wish to be on the safe side.

And Allah knows best.

And they feed for the love of Allah, the indigent, the orphan and the captive 
- "Verily we feed you for the sake of Allah alone: no reward to we desire from you, nor thanks"
~ Al Insan 76:8-9 (Translation of The Quran by Yusuf Ali)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Short and simple

Sometimes the issue and solution is simple.  Too simple.

However, to look more professional/educated/intellectual, some people would give a 17-page complicated proposal.   A 1-2 page proposal doesn't look professional.  Never mind if you have to repeat the points or mention things irrelevant to the issue.

Hadith from Rasulullah SAW are never long winded.  It's straight to the point.  Sometimes it's just one sentence.  It's enough, more than enough.  It's deep.  

Sometimes short and precise sentences and messages say more. And do more to the mind.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

To move or not to move

It's been an emotional roller coaster ride for me these few weeks. All because we decided that we should consider the option of staying in JB, while working/schooling in Singapore.

The pros are mostly with smaller expenses, thus ability to save some, more space and perhaps the slower pace of life in JB.
The cons - parents living in Singapore (but still not even that far to visit - just need to cross the causeway), and commuting during the peak hours across the causeway/2nd link. Basically only these 2. Biggest one being the commuting.

There is also anxiety of living in a new environment and again the commuting. I am also anxious that my son is anxious - will he be a prisoner there? Basically we can travel only by car. Of course there is a public bus to Singapore also but it'll take 1 hour for him. My girls on the other hand, are excited.

Then there are my parents throwing all the cons at us. It seems like a crazy move.

However by now the thought of doing nothing and staying put is also not a good option - seem like a stupid cowardly option.
We need to decide on something.

Rent a 4 bedroom HDB flat in Singapore for $2500 + $200 car park fees ($2700) or rent a 4 bedroom semi-detached with garden and car porch enough for 2 cars in JB for RM4000 per month (abt $1600)
Continue to pay expensive utilities, cable, internet and groceries bill - or get them all at a cheaper rate in Malaysia (up to 50% lesser in total!)?
Scrap life savings / owe money to extend COE for the car, or make money from the house through rental to pay for it? Cannot let Singapore take advantage of us.

It seems obvious that we should bear some inconvenience of commuting to make some money and enjoy those savings.

Furthermore, there has been numerous families who have moved to JB, who have had the same anxieties and they say now they are used to it and they are still happy with their decision after few years. This is not the case for a few of my father's friends though, who bought 'weekend' houses in JB. Perhaps we have different reasons and motivations.

I also get anxious thinking.. are we moving to another country for good? Will it feel the same if we ever come back to stay in Singapore again? But then again, we're still working in Singapore everyday right? But it's not the same. It's not home.

I guess the problem with me and my family. None of us have had the experience of actually living in another country to study or work. So this one is a very big thing for us.

The truth is Singapore also doesn't really feel like home sweet home, with government paying more attention to money and investment. Singapore Inc. Yeap.. it's not home. It's a big company. You want to stay, you work and you pay.

Maybe we should just get over the anxieties and just do it. If we don't, we'll never know. It's not like we're selling our Singapore house NOW.. we're just renting it out. We can always come back after a year if things don't work out. Right? (come back to Singapore Inc. err.. )

I guess.

Ok jom.. let's do istikharah yet again.

Ya Allah, let us make a decision that will be good for our deen and for the goodness in this life and the Hereafter. Aamiin.

Update ** I decided to start another blog for this issue.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Between entertainment and the Truth

I was watching Despicable Me 2 - yes it was enjoyable BUT there is in it to me, a dark side to it. Especially when those minions turned into mini monsters. One thing that really caught my attention was when the monster minions were attacking and they were in droves and they came like waves. It had me wondering.. is this satan's work trying to further blur out the truth from illusion?

Because that scene immediately reminds me of an ayat in the Quran :

"On that day We shall leave them (Yajuj and Ma'juj) to surge like waves on one another: the trumpet will be blown, and We shall collect them all together." Al-Kahf 18:99

It scares me.

There is also another thing that will happen near judgement day, that is now quite common in monster and beast movies - a beast coming from the earth.

"And when the Word is fulfilled against them (the unjust), we shall produce from the earth a beast to (face) them: He will speak to them, for that mankind did not believe with assurance in Our Signs" An-Naml 27:82

And what about this... familiar?

The Fire will burn their faces, and they will therein grin, with their lips displaced.
Al-Muminuun,  23:104

Now, if these are made into such movies for entertainment, will the people believe when they are told of this ayats? Or when it really happens and people are trying to warn others of it - it may be said that the teller has watched too many movies.

However, this is in a Book that was revealed 1400 years ago.

Ya Allah, in this world full of illusion and deceit, guide us to the Truth, and make us among those who will enter Jannah and be saved from Hellfire.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Dua of Musa - Nouman Ali Khan

Bury your evil deed by doing good deeds.

When you're offering help, don't expect anything in return (e.g. payment, recognition or a word of thanks). Do it sincerely for the sake of Allah.

If you have asked Allah for assistance, and Allah sends it to you, don't be choosy. Whatever opportunity comes your way, we should thank Allah and do our best, and improve ourselves.

The Doa of Musa A.S.:
رَبِّ إِنِّي لِمَا أَنزَلْتَ إِلَيَّ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَقِيرٌ

"O my Lord! truly am I in (desperate) need of any good that Thou dost send me!"

From Surah Al-Qasas 28:24

Friday, June 21, 2013

There shouldn't be any Jumaat Prayers today in Singapore.

The PSI (Pollutant Standards Index) level, at the time of writing this, is now 401, as at 12am. The air is now toxic and may affect the weak, and those having heart and respitory problems. I would say it is unhealthy.

So what does it mean for those having to attend Jumuah prayers in Singapore and other affected areas now? Our religion is really kind and caring. But some people may be afraid of taking decisions into their own hands.

I hope the Mufti will announce urgently of no Jumuah prayers today.

If he doesn’t, then anyone who is afraid of how the air will affect their health need not go for Jumuah prayers.
Allah is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful.

The hadith below is allowing people to pray at their homes, when it was raining and the path is muddy. This situation is certainly more serious than that.

Volume 1, Book 11, Number 590:

Narrated 'Abdullah bin Al-Harith:

Once on a rainy muddy day, Ibn 'Abbas delivered a sermon in our presence and when the Mu'adhdhin pronounced the Adhan and said, "Haiya ala-s-sala(t) (come for the prayer)" Ibn 'Abbas ordered him to say 'Pray at your homes.' The people began to look at each other (surprisingly). Ibn 'Abbas said. "It was done by one who was much better than I (i.e. the Prophet or his Mu'adhdhin), and it is a license.'

Friday, May 31, 2013

Good manners

Abu Hurayra (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Peace Be Upon Him) once asked his companions: “Do you know who is the bankrupt one?”

The companions replied: “A bankrupt person amongst us is the one who neither has a dirham nor any possessions.”

The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) said: “Rather, the bankrupt person from my Ummah is the one who will come on the Day of Resurrection with a good record of Salah (Prayers), Sawm (Fasts) and Zakah (Obligatory Charity); but he would have offended a person, slandered another, unlawfully consumed the wealth of another person, murdered someone and hit someone. Each one of these people would be given some of the wrong-doer’s good deeds. If his good deeds fall short of settling the account, then their sins will be taken from their account and entered into the wrong-doer’s account and he would be thrown in the Hell Fire. {Sahih Muslim, Book 32, Hadith Number 6251}

I miss having (just) blogger.

I suddenly miss those times when I only write my thoughts in blogger and connect to other people only through their blogger pages. It seriously feels more peaceful, more controlled. More personal.

I'm feeling so melancholic and a bit depressed. Yesterday I had a bad experience on FB. On FB you always have to be on your guard you know. It can be quite tiring. Your post may be private or public as you set it, but your likes and comments are really dependent on the post privacy setting.

Twice now, I commented with the intention that it will only be read by the one who posted and their friends - not for ALL MY FB CONTACTS. However ALL OF THEM can read what I wrote about and I don't think everything we say will suit everyone who reads it. In this case, I commented on a seemingly innocent post. Then a friend of that person made some STUPID UNRELATED CRUDE remarks that make me sick in the stomach. My hubby texted me, asking me what that was all about. It suddenly hit me that everyone I know will also see that nonsense and maybe think I condone to that?!?! I immediately went to delete my comments because I don't want to be bloody related to that post at all now. My God! I felt SO ANGRY. I felt violated actually. I felt SICK.

I threw my phone far, I felt like I have to be away from this stupid social media.

This morning, I tried to reflect on it, if it is actually a small matter. But no.. I still feel the same. I contemplated deactivating my FB. I went in to do it.

Then there was the pages I created that is suppose to do good, that had to be removed. And then there is the good people group I'm in, and I thought.. OK there are some good things.. but it's REALLY sometimes quite challenging, especially when I'm in a hyper mood, to stop myself from commenting on my real friend's posts.

I finally didn't deactivate it. Maybe I'll create another account first - or maybe I'm just wasting my time thinking about this stupid thing. Stay off first la.. until I can discipline myself. Yeah right.

Insyaa Allah, if there is anything beneficial, I still want to share. No doubt it's a powerful tool to reach the masses. (Digression alert) Even if people don't actually take in what you say at that moment or ignore it, constant exposure to the idea will somehow, hopefully plant some good thoughts. Just like how mass media are doing it to promote stupid ideas.. we have to fight it using whatever tool we can have to reach the masses in the same way with something good.

In any case, I pray that Allah makes me stronger. I'm feeling more peaceful in blogger.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Don't use 'sexy'

Definition of SEXY (Merriam-Webster)
1 : sexually suggestive or stimulating
2 : generally attractive or interesting

When people use the word sexy, most of the time do they refer to 1 or 2 or a mix of both? The few times I've heard it being used, it has always given me the impression that it refers to definition 1, or a mix of both 1 & 2.

That word has never given me the idea that it's just 'generally attractive or interesting'. For if I genuinely, sincerely think that, I would use those words as it is - attractive or interesting.

A friend of mine has ever used this word to describe a book - which I guess refers to definition 2 in this case. Her then, 9 year old son, asked her why she had use that word to describe a book. He told her what he thinks the word means, which is as in definition 1. This is coming from the innocent and straight thinking 9 year old.

Why do we even want to expose our children to this idea? We have an option to use so many other words that does not provoke the unwanted thoughts. Why choose this word and give the listener or reader an option to choose definition 1 (which by the way is the main definition).

Another concern I have is when parents dress their little girls in suggestive clothes like tank tops or spaghetti straps or bikinis, and proudly announces on those pictures in social medias 'my sexy baby/girl'. Are you out of your mind? What are you doing? Why do you even want to promote the idea that your baby and/or daughters are 'sexually suggestive or stimulating'?? It's sick.

Some of them may respond saying that they don't mean it like that. Yes, they may not consciously mean it like that (although unconsciously they know that is what it means. To prove it, if their mother is attractive and/or interesting in any way, would anyone in their right mind describe their mother like that? You cannot fathom it right? I rest my case.). By using that word, aren't they giving the option to the reader/listener to generally interpret the meaning as such? Can you explain to each and every listener that that is not what you mean? Then you may as well use a clear word which is not provoking at all. Especially when there are so many perverts out there.

I know that some of these people, they are only ignorant followers. The media uses the word like nobody's business to describe, yes, sexily dressed personalities. The masses, as usual, gulps anything thrown at them without critical consideration. And in order to have the illusion of being accepted or being up to date with the 'world', they use the word without even thinking about what it means.

Why would you even suggest to the public that you or the girls/women who you love and care for, are 'sexually suggestive or stimulating'? WHY WHY WHY??

And we wonder again and again, we moan again and again at the worrying increase in sexual crimes.

My dear fellow human, LET'S START USING OUR INTELLECT.
(This is what God always ask of us in the Qu'ran - 'Will you not think?', 'Will you not consider?', 'Will you not reason?')

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tools for our soul

Our body and all it's parts such as the hands, legs, ears, eyes, mouth etc, are tools.
As long as we can make use of most of our tools, we should make good use of them to attain what is best for our souls.
Our tools will be witnesses on the Day of Judgement, to what we strive for.

May Allah give us beneficial wisdom and strength to be His good servant.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

And among His Signs - the barren land.

Death Valley, California is contains the lowest, hottest, driest location in North America. It is one of the hottest places on earth, nothing grows. However in 2004 6.9" rain fell on Death Valley and it comes to life.

From this barren land :

to this :

Read more on about Death Valley and this phenomenon, here (NBC News) and here (Educational Transformation).

And by the way, in Educational Transformation, the Ken Robinson talk that he was referring to is this inspirational talk.

"And among His Signs in this: thou seest the earth barren and desolate; but when We send down rain to it, it is stirred to life and yields increase. Truly, He Who gives life to the (dead) earth can surely give life to (men) who are dead. For He has power over all things."
Al Quran, Fussilats 41:39 (translation of the Quran by Yusuf Ali)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Subliminal messaging vs Signs that are everywhere

The book I'm reading now is Vital Lies, Simple Truth by Daniel Goleman.

In it is speaks about how all information that we receive through our senses are actually stored somewhere, but only what is relevant to us, comes into the conscious state - or awareness.

"He would flash words for just a few thousandths of a second - so quickly that people did not even know they had seen a word. Then he would ask his subjects which word in a subsequent pair meant or looked the same as the one that had just flashed by. If for example, the unseen word was 'book,' the lookalike would be 'look' the related word 'read.'

Even though his subjects had not the slightest idea what the first word had been, they were right in their guessing about 90 percet of the time - an astounding rate of accuracy for people who did not even know they were reading." (Chapter : How much we can keep in mind - page 68)

This immediately reminded me of subliminal messaging. Used once, perhaps the effect is minimal, but constant exposure to the same subliminal message? What effect can that have, I wonder.

And then I though about how, perhaps we can put it to good use, perhaps in reminding people such things as 'God sees all that you do' or just'Allah'.

But then immediately I'm thinking.. of course, Allah knows better and Allah knows all. I'm thinking of 'sublime messages' in perhaps my videos, but Allah has made his Signs available everywhere. Look at the birds, the trees, look at the workings of ourselves! These are all Signs to remind us of God's existence and power. It will be of benefit for those who reflect, but will be ignored or dismissed by the arrogant.


Ok, back to reading.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

The biggest enemy

"The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn't exist."

Oh yes, that line is from 'The Usual Suspects'. Thought provoking. Don't you think it is happening now?

People believe in make-believe more, than they believe in Reality, just because they've been exposed to make-believe day in day out, through TV shows and movies and advertisements. It's all about make-believe.

So much so, that if you talk about Satan to most people, it seems like something distant and almost unreal. Like how some people talk about Santa or toothfairy. They don't take it seriously.

Yes, this is our biggest enemy - bigger than even the bully who bullied you in school. But we don't realise that, or even if we do, we are putting him at the very back of our head, as if he is not around.

However, do know that he is not far. I find that, when you become conscious of his existence and his cause, you will notice the weird thoughts or feelings or urges or distractions, that comes out of nowhere. Just as :
"He said, 'Because You have put me in the wrong, I will lie in ambush for them on your straight path. Then I will surely come upon them from before them and from behind them, and from their right and from their left, and then You will find most of them ungrateful.'" Al-A'raf 7:16-17. (Translation by Wahiduddin Khan.)

Left uncheck, it may lead you to think further evil thoughts or even proceed with your own evil actions.

How do we counter it?

(taken from Hisnul Muslim)

On supplications for expelling the devil and his whisperings.

1) Seeking refuge from devil. (A'udzubillaahi minash-shaiTonirrajiim)

2) The Adzan (Call to prayer).

3) Recitation of the Quran and the authentic texts of remembrance and supplications *

E.g. " Do not make your homes like the graveyards, indeed the devils flee from the house in which suraah Al-Baqarah has been read - related by Muslim 1/539. Also supplications and remembrance for the morning and evening, before sleep, when getting up, entering and leaving the toilet, entering and leaving the mosque, the recitation of Ayaatul Kursiyy and the last two verses of Suraah Al-Baqarah before sleeping, the azan etc.

Need to be alert. Need to treat the devil as he should be treated, THE enemy. Be on our guard always, by remembering Allah always and seeking Allah's protection.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

False advertising

False advertising, deceiving consumers who are ever ready to consume anything new and branded.

I know some of us have drank and liked 'Vitaminwater'.

Image from GreenAustinNurse

The product turned out to be a lie. When sued, (according to this report), the producer defended themselves saying "no consumer could reasonably be misled into thinking vitaminwater was a healthy beverage." In other words, we're the fools.

That's, big ruthless corporations for you.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Basic Scones

3 cups (375 grams) all purpose flour
1/2 cup (100 grams) white sugar
5 teaspoon (25 grams) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (170 gm) butter (just out of the fridge/freezer)
1 egg, beaten
1 cup (235 ml) milk
1/2 cup raisins. (optional)

1. Start with Bismillah.
2. Preheat oven to 200 deg C.
3. Lightly grease a baking sheet on tray.
4. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
5. Grate the frozen butter using the larger holes of the grater, into the flour mixture. Then, mix the butter with the flour mixture using your fingers until it all become like breadcrumbs. You can try to selawat while doing all these.
6. In another bowl mix the beaten egg and milk. Then pour into the flour mixture, mix until all is moistened.
7. You can add the raisins at this point if your husband insist on raisins, like mine do.
8. Use tablespoons to scoop whatever the spoon can hold, and put onto the greased baking sheet, leaving a little space between the doughs, cause it will be slightly larger when baked.
9. Bake for about 15 mins or until golden brown at the top.

Update 14 May 2013:
The above recipe makes about 25 pieces of spoonful mixture scones, which may be too much for a family of small eater or a family of 2, 3, 4.

So here is half the ingredients that I tried the other morning, which was just nice for my family of small eaters.
Makes about 12 pieces of scones.

190 grams all purpose flour
50 grams white sugar
10 grams baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
90 grams butter
1/2 of 1 beaten egg.
110 ml milk
1/4 cup raisins, if you want. Well actually, for the raisins, it depends on how much raisins you like in your scones. If you like more, just put more.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Aku ngantok.
Tadi tak ngantok
Lepas makan baru ngantok.
Macam mana nak hilangkan ngantok?
Bolehkah dengan mengambil wudhu hilang ngantok?
Berwudhulah dan solat zohor supaya tak ngantok.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tanggungjawab membuat drama/filem

Seram jugak kadang-kadang tu, bila tengok orang buat cerita untuk drama atau filem.

Betul kata Bromo, bila kita menulis dan mengarah sesebuah drama/filem, kita ni macam berlaku sebagai tuhan bagi watak-watak dalam cerita itu, dengan menentukan nasib-nasib mereka, juga kesudahan mereka (tentunya dengan izin dan ketentuan Allah juga). Jadi tanggungjawab itu besar sangat, untuk menunjukkan kesudahan yang betul dan pengajaran yang betul.

Saya terfikirkan hal ini sesudah menyaksikan sebuah cerita di mana penulis/pengarah memberi kesudahan yang salah bagi satu watak dalam cerita itu. Allah sudah menjanjikan sesiapa saja yang bertaubat dengan ikhlas atas apa saja dosa2 mereka sebelum menemu ajal, akan diampunkan. Watak itu ditunjukkan sudah lama mengesal dan bertaubat - tapi masih juga diberi bayangan bahawa mayatnya disiksa. Ini menyalahi janji Allah.

Tentu sekali perkara yang lagi satu yang saya menyampah adalah keberanian pelakon-pelakon Islam kita membawa adegan-adegan yang melampau.

Apa yang diceritakan dalam drama atau filem sebenarnya memberi kesan kepada penonton - lagi-lagi yang kurang upaya untuk membentuk pemikiran sendiri dan senang terikut dengan apa saja yang disajikan untuk mata dan telinga mereka.

Astaghfirullah, besarnya tanggungjawab - jika dengan cerita kita, orang jadi putus asa dengan apa yang sebenarnya dijanjikan Allah SWT. Atau orang digalakkan melakukan perkara2 yang tak baik, kerana pengaruh cerita kita. Berapa banyak penonton? Berapa banyak dosa yang kita nak tanggung?

Semuga Allah mengampunkan kita, dan melindungi kita dari melakukan perkara2 yang akan sangat merugikan kita di Akhirat kelak.

"Whoever recommends and helps a good cause becomes a partner therein: And whoever recommends and helps an evil cause, shares in its burden: And Allah hath power over all things." An Nisa 4:85

Sunday, April 21, 2013

punjangga cinta

wahai pujangga cinta
biar membelai indah
teladani kalbu ku,
jujur lah pada hati mu
ada apa dengan cinta
perbedaan aku dan engkau
biar menjadi bait
dalam puisi cinta terindah

Saturday, April 20, 2013

My handling of slow mails.

I don't like to handle papers. I don't like to handle mails (unless it's a book package I ordered). I check my mails only once or twice a month, only because I have to check for bills.

I throw away mails unopened, those that are addressed to 'The Resident'. I also throw away with disgust, ALL promotional mails from the banks, no matter how elaborate or how much money they wasted on the promotional mail. I also immediately throw any promotional pamphlets from any shopping centers or brands.

If you are sending me something really important or urgent - send it by email instead. Or if you really have to send it by slow mail, alert me by email or sms. If not, it may be attended to the following month - i.e. if it is addressed to us by name.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Laments and answers from the Qur'an.

These are some of the common complains or laments we hear:

1) Why was I TESTED?
AL-QURAN : "Do men think that they will be left alone saying,'We believe', and that they will not be tested? We did test those before them, and Allah will certainly know those who are true from those who are false." [29:2-3]

2) Why don't I get what I want? Or why do I get what I don't want?
AL-QURAN : "... It is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and that you love a thing, which is bad for you. But Allah knows, while you know not." Surah Al-Baqarah [2:216]

3) Why am I burdened this way?
AL-QURAN : "On no soul doth Allah Place a burden greater than it can bear. It gets every good that it earns, and it suffers every ill that it earns. (Pray:) "Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget or fall into error; our Lord! Lay not on us a burden Like that which Thou didst lay on those before us; Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Blot out our sins, and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. Thou art our Protector; Help us against those who stand against faith." Surah Al-Baqarah [2:286]
"So verily, with every difficulty there is relief. Verily, with every difficulty there is relief." Surah Al-Insyirah [94:5-6]

4) I am losing hope!
AL-QURAN : "So lose not heart, nor fall into despair: For ye must gain mastery if ye are true in Faith." Surah Al-Imran [3:139]

5) How do I face it?
AL-QURAN : "O you who believed! Persevere in patience and constancy; vie in such perseverance; strengthen each other; and fear Allah that you may prosper." Surah Al-Imran[3:200]
"And seek aid in steadfast patience and prayer: and this, indeed, is a hard thing for all but the humble in spirit," Surah Al-Baqarah [2:45] (translation by Asad)

6) What do I get from all these?
AL-QURAN : "Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and properties (in exchange) for that they will have the garden (of Paradise)..." Surah At-Taubah [9:111]

7) To whom can I depend and put my trust upon?
AL-QURAN : "...(Allah) suffice me: there is no god but He: On Him is my trust- He the Lord of the Throne (of Glory) Supreme." Surah At-Taaubah [9:129]

8) I can't take it anymore! I am hopeless. I feel like giving up!
AL-QURAN : "...and never give up hope of Allah's Soothing Mercy; truly No one despairs of Allah's Soothing Mercy. except Those who have no faith." Surah Yusuf [12:87]
"Say: "O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah. for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." Surah Az-Zumar [39:53]

Mini Bread Puddings

Yesterday, about a month! after Fazi, my good friend, my lunchmate, gave birth, I visited her at home. I didn't want to visit her right after birth, cause I felt like if it was me, I could do with some rest time, alone. But I also didn't intend to visit this late. Anyhow, I finally visited her yesterday.

I'm surprised that she had time to prepare for me bread pudding, which she served on a small ball. It's not like the normal bread pudding I've seen before. Normally they are in a square pie tray or something, and I'd always try to go for the edges, because I want the more 'crispy', or 'chewy' part. Then we'd need to pour some cream over it.

This one is different. It is round, about 3 inch diameter (baked using mini pie trays). And since it is small, the whole thing is crispy. Furthermore it was just out of the oven. We didn't need to pour any cream over it - it already tasted like all in one.

I liked the taste and asked her for the recipe. I want to bake it myself, for my family, when I got home.

Apparently she got the recipe from In, we are asked to melt some butter and pour it over the bread. However, my friend said spread the However, spreading of butter of the bread before tearing it would ensure that all bread pieces had some butter on it. Also it means one step lesser - we didn't have the melt the butter. I'm always for lesser ingredients and lesser work.
And the one on also calls for vanilla extract.

Vanilla extract is a point of contention for the Muslims. Some Muslims says it's not halal since vanilla extract would definitely contain 30% alcohol, that makes it vanilla extract (MUIS standpoint). Other say, what is forbidden is intoxicating drinks or any thing that intoxicates. This alcohol is in another form already, part of a vanilla extract, and will not intoxicate. Therefore it is halal (Dr Muhammad Salah view).

My baker friend Tina said, vanilla extract or vanilla essence, are ingredients that you can live without. It only adds a little flavour in the form of a nice smell to the food. Does not noticeably affect the taste. As such, if I can do without vanilla extract I would.

So, after the long story, what I want to say is, I didn't use vanilla extract in my bread pudding.

Oh, the main reason for this entry is, I want to keep the recipe. I've baked and cooked successfully before. And I'd write the precious recipe in a notebook. But because sometimes I lose momentum to bake or cook, for months or years at times, I also lose the notebook. It has happened a couple of times. So this time, I figured the safest place to record what I have done successfully is in this blog, which alhamdulillah, I have not lost for the last 6-7 years.

So here goes:

Mini Bread Puddings

* Makes about 6-9 round (3 inch diameter) bread puddings.

Ingredients :

4 pieces white bread.
Enough butter or margarine to spread over bread.
2 eggs
235 ml milk.
75 grams fine sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
Some raisins (optional)

1. Say BISMILLAH (In the Name of God).

2. Preheat OVEN at 180dec C. (about 10-15 mins before using it)

3. Spread BUTTER OR MARGARINE over 4 pieces of WHITE BREAD. Try to cover the whole surface of the bread.
Then tear the bread to pieces.

4. In another bowl mix thoroughly the other ingredients : EGGS, MILK, SUGAR & GROUND CINNAMON.

5. Then pour this mixture onto the torn bread pieces. Press with fork to make sure all the break pieces absorb the mixture.
You can mix some raisins if you want at this point.

6. Then divide the bread mixture into the small mini pie bowls or pan, about the size mentioned above (3 inch diameter).

7. Put it in the oven (middle level) and leave to bake for about 22-25 mins.

8. When done, the white part of bread should look golden and the bread edge will look kind of crispy in darker brown.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Live comments - Weapons of Mass Instruction

This book is by John (every time I type that name, I would first accidentally type 'Johan') Taylor Gatto.
Some comments as I came across things that spurs strong reactions in my mind.

Pg 64
The official economy we have constructed, demands constantly renewed supplies of leveled, spiritless, passive, anxious, friendless, family-less people who can be scrapped and replaced endlessly, and who will perform at maximum efficiency until their own time comes to be scrap; people who think the difference between Coke and Pepsi, or round hamburgers versus square ones, are subjects worthy of argument.
==> I guess schooling did work to reach the above objective - you find this in the masses. Except those who strive to not follow blindly, and in nonsense situations, to go against the masses' strong current in their way of thinking.

Pg. 100
A century of lending our children to perfect strangers at an early age - to be instructed in what we aren't quite sure - has made an important statement about modern culture which deserves to be mused upon.
==> Musing, and not liking the idea.

Pg 106
Between children identified as bright by schools and those identified as stupid, hardly a difference exists but those created by deliberate deprivation.
==> Right! like not being able to afford hundreds of dollars in additional tuition fee in order to cope with school curriculum. Except perhaps for the rare naturally bright ones.

There were more... but I missed jotting them down.

The Miracle of Human Creation

And made his progeny from a quintessence of the nature of a fluid despised:
But He fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him something of His spirit. And He gave you (the faculties of) hearing and sight and feeling (and understanding): little thanks do ye give!
~ Al Qur'an - As Sajdah 32:8-9

Then We placed him as (a drop of) sperm in a place of rest, firmly fixed;
Then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood; then of that clot We made a (foetus) lump; then we made out of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh; then we developed out of it another creature. So blessed be Allah, the best to create!
~ Al Qur'an - Mu'minoon. 23-13-14

O mankind! if ye have a doubt about the Resurrection, (consider) that We created you out of dust, then out of sperm, then out of a leech-like clot, then out of a morsel of flesh, partly formed and partly unformed, in order that We may manifest (our power) to you; and We cause whom We will to rest in the wombs for an appointed term, then do We bring you out as babes, then (foster you) that ye may reach your age of full strength; and some of you are called to die, and some are sent back to the feeblest old age, so that they know nothing after having known (much), and (further), thou seest the earth barren and lifeless, but when We pour down rain on it, it is stirred (to life), it swells, and it puts forth every kind of beautiful growth (in pairs).
~ Al Qur'an - Al Hajj 22:5

Soon will We show them our Signs in the (furthest) regions (of the earth), and in their own souls, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth. Is it not enough that thy Lord doth witness all things?
~ Al Qur'an - Fussilat 41:53

*all translations of the Qur'an by Yusuf Ali.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Because it's nothing

One of the thing I heard an atheist talking about is that there is no detailed explanation of how the universe was created or in fact of anything - no detailed explanation. It's always quite generic. So he's not satisfied with verses that explains something in just one sentence - and not in detail.

Subhanallah, I on the other hand, see it as something that shows how Great Allah is. How?
Say if someone ask you, how to check where a certain location is in Singapore, you'd probably say 'Google it'.
That's it. Just 2 words. Google it.

You say it like that because to you, this is nothing so amazing to you, that you would explain it with such wonder. E.g.
"OH! you know?! there is a new thing now that can give us that information!. You'll need a computer or a smartphone or an ipad, then you need an internet connection with ...." You get what I mean. You don't go on explaining in detail how you 'google it', because it's almost common sense to you.

Well, in that way, I perceive that the way God mentions how heavens and the earth are created in 6 days, or how we made birds fly, or how the sky is held up without any pillars that you can see - is in a simple straight forward, no frills manner because it is nothing for God. It is for us to discover and find out the wonders of it. It is amazing and wonderful to us, not to God.

Cable News Channel

I don't want this to be a habit - to receive, then spread negative stories about people, and we don't even know if there is any truth in it, nor the situation surrounding it.

"when you take it up with your tongues, uttering with your mouths something of which you have no knowledge, and deeming it a light matter whereas in the sight of God it is an awful thing!"
An-Nur 24:15 (translation of the Qur'an by Asad)

May Allah guide us and makes u good Muslims.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

We, the...

I have many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now.
No, you just won't understand.

I have so many rants going through my head, especially of the Pharaoh.
We have to overcome this disguised slavery.

Maybe we need to move.
To a place where we can live a normal life.
Not of life of constant pressure to work work work
- to feed the Pharaoh's greed.

I cannot imagine how it'll be for our kids.
Is there a way out?


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The exemplary Sultan

I read the article one or two years back. Then something happened and I was trying to recall the article. Almost couldn't not find it. So I want to keep it here.

It's about the Sultan of Kelantan. Sultan Muhammad V (Tuanku Muhammad Faris Petra).

May Allah prolong his life in good iman, good health and prosperity. May he become the Sultan of Malaysia and be a strong influence towards some positive changes. Aamiin.

The article : Sultan yang prihatin.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

while the intellect is absent

It's sad, to see a lot of Muslims having tattoos, especially the young ones. You want a tattoo? We have tattoos in Islam, but they are temporary. It's called henna. If you're young, 16-17 [saying] "I want a tattoo!" - just go put a temporary one on there. It will wear off by the time your intellect comes back to you.

Friday, March 01, 2013

The Transformer Ride

Since last week, I've been hearing of a few deaths. Death makes us realise, how unimportant most things are on earth - especially man-defined achievements. (Money, big houses, trophies, awards). Alhamdulillaah, this is making me feel grounded. Tonight I have to attend a big televised event. The first time for me. Could be the last. I don't know.

Anyway, it's an award night, and our drama 'Yakin' has been nominated for best drama special (or something like that). I.e. this would be in the category of dramas made for special occasions like Eid, Father/Mother days etc. People are excited. I am too. But insyaa Allah, the thought of our limited time on earth, will help keep me grounded. Aamiin. I'm most afraid of being lost in the limelight of it all.

So anyhow, back to the subject of death. Have you ever heard of how, depending on the results of our Life Tests, how our grave, can seem so wide and spacious, as far as the eye can see? Don't you wonder how?

Well, the other day, I was at USS and we took the Transformers ride. It's a 4D ride. So, we're inside this car, that seats 9 person.
The car does not travel far along it's track - but the image shown on the screen on the different sides of the limited area, makes us feel that we are traveling far and fast, moving from one location in a 'city' to another. And all the while, we're just in that car, that is not really going anywhere.

This got me thinking.. masyaa Allah, this is a man-made thing - and it feels quite real. And man's knowledge is just a tiny drop of water at the tip of a needle, dipped into the ocean. Of course, God can do even more than we can every imagine.

To be in a grave, yet it's spacious? Allah has power over all things.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What are words in today's world?

A thought today.

In this current world (I can't say I really know much about the state in the old world, but this much I know - the current world), there are more lies, exaggeration and ambiguous words intended to deceive, than there are true, honest and accurate words.

A friend was just lamenting on the number of days of maternity leave given to new mothers. The government and employers have always mentioned 4 months. This should mean that if a leave starts on 1st of March, then the person will come back to work on 1st of July.
No, they say - it's actually 112 days - 16 weeks. Why don't they just say 16 weeks to avoid all the unnecessary confusions, expectations, disappointments? They always want to sound like they are giving more, than they are actually giving.

And this is the norm. Be it in the school promoting the school's achievements, in a politician's promise, and especially in advertisements. Very rarely would you find a true, honest and accurate advertisement. What is most sad, is that, this is being taught in marketing courses as something normal to do.

Where do people of religion stand in this? People of religion, to mean those who believes in One God and the Last Day.
If we are really a person of taqwa (God-conscious - to define it loosely), then know that, not a word is uttered or a deed done, even if it be the size of an atom, that is not being recorded to be judged upon, on Judgement Day.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Swedish Visiting Cake

I am in love.

I don't remember the last time I've ever felt this way about any cake. Maybe the red velvet, but still it's not as strong as this.

It's called the Swedish Visiting Cake. People (like Tina) say.. story goes that this cake is so simple to make that Swedish womenfolk prepare them for guests just as they see them coming down the street. Thus the name kot (oh.. my Malaysian influence masih ada yang melekat sikit2)

What happened was, I went to KL over the last weekend. It was such a fruitful trip, alhamdulillah. Or should I say, cakeful?
I got to visit my adinda Anis, whose wedding I missed. Now she has moved in to her new house and is delivering their first child soon! Semuga Allah permudahkan segala urusannya. Aamiin. I slept over at her beautiful new house.

The next day, Tina took over, as in I was passed over to Tina. She brought me to her beautiful home (I'm not exaggerating, they have beautiful houses). She taught me how to make this cake. :)

Ingredients are quite simple and you don't even need an electric mixer. And I just found out I love lemon zest, and I also just found out what exactly it is. It is actually grated lemon skin (the yellowish outer most skin layer, not the white part). Ready in 5-10 mins. Bakes in 25mins.

Don't be fooled by the simplicity of preparing it. It looks almost like any other cake, but there is a pleasant surprise when you put it in your mouth. The lemony, crunchy chewy taste that I love.

Insyaa Allah nak try buat this weekend!
(Is this Erni talking?)

Photo Credit : Tina (check out her bakes on Instagram : ms_tinaz)

The source recipe here.

And here is my revised recipe, based on my own taste and convenience. I've used salted butter and make do without salt, vanilla and almond essence.
I've also reduced the sugar, cause I don't like the cake to be that sweet - we're sprinkling sugar on top anyway.

Ingredients (in order of appearance)

110 gms butter, melted and put aside.
150 gms sugar
1 big lemon, for lemon zest.
2 large eggs
128 gms all purpose flour
Sliced almonds

1. Bismillah.
2. Preheat oven at 180 deg C.
3. Butter a round tin container (about 20cm in diameter).
4. Grate the lemon skin to get the zest, into the sugar. Then with your fingers, mix them well until you get a lemony aroma.
5. Break 1 egg at a time and whisk to blend them well.
6. Put in the flour and using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour until well mixed.
7. Pour in the cooled melted butter and fold in until all mixed well.
8. Pour into the tin cake container and distribute well.
9. Sprinkle sliced almond all over the top.
10. Sprinkle a bit of sugar all over the top.
11. Put into the oven and bake for 20-25 mins - until the top appears golden brown.
12. Leave to cool for 10-15 mins and you're ready to dig in.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

The Secret Life of Trees

I feel like crying, reading 'The Secret Life of Trees'.

Oh how man underestimate the importance of trees, & it's amazing life. Subhanallah.

Truly in the life of trees you can find miracles, how Allah created them and taught them how to live, how it's existence is finally of benefits to man.

"Do ye not see that Allah has subjected to your (use) all things in the heavens and on earth, and has made his bounties flow to you in exceeding measure, (both) seen and unseen? Yet there are among men those who dispute about Allah, without knowledge and without guidance, and without a Book to enlighten them!"
~ Luqman 31:20

But we are such ungrateful creatures, and selfish and arrogant. We think we can live alone without the help of Allah and and what Allah has created for us.

"Nay, but man doth transgress all bounds,
In that he looketh upon himself as self-sufficient." ~ Al Alaq 96:6-7

It's no wonder that Allah SWT is always telling us to look at Nature, then to think and ponder about these creations. If we only pay more attention to Nature, then we will be able to appreciate and understand how Great Allah is - "Allahu Akbar", and how we, like all other creatures of Allah, should be subservient to our Creator and learn how to co-exist, in peace.

Trees do so many things for us, other than just bear fruits. They help control temperature, and level of carbon in the air, they regulate moist/water, make grounds firm with their roots, they teach man a bit about chemistry - trees are good chemists.

Have we ever even thought about how amazing it is that a tree can suck up water from the ground, and release it out into the air? Just one big tree, can transpire about 500 litres of water a day (pg 381). That is a lot of water for just a tree. Imagine a whole forest.

Then imagine if there are no forests - where will all that water go to?
(clue : flood, overflowing rivers/drains, landslides, rising water level?)

Still these people, continue to ignore the warnings, remain stupid, arrogant and selfish.

But you know what.. as sad as it is, as much as I wish we can reverse this, I frankly believe man will continue to destroy themselves (ourselves).

This does not mean that we should also join in their mindless destructions. We should still do our own individual part, because we will be answerable individually to Allah SWT.

Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “If the Resurrection were established upon one of you while he has in his hand a sapling, then let him plant it.”

[Musnad Ahmad, Number 12491, Sahih]
From : Daily Hadith Online

In the end this world will end, and only those who believe in Allah and the the Last day, and they didn't create mischief on earth - will enter Heaven.

And of course there is Wisdom in that - thinking from my own tiny perspective, you wouldn't want these same people who destroyed earth, to be in Heaven also do we?

May Allah SWT safeguard us, our family and our fellow Believers from the man's atrocities in this world, and from Hellfire. Aamiin.

*All Quranic quotes are from Yusuf Ali's translation of the Qur'an.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

the arrogant atheist's argument

There are different types of atheists out there. Those who are not sure, and therefore don't believe. Then there are those who have seen proofs staring at them, but are too arrogant to accept - because it's just to big an idea for them to grasp.
Look at the example of the argument provided by the arrogant Richard Dawkins who insinuated that to believe in God is childish.

I've mentioned before, perhaps you can prove that something exists, because you've experienced it with your senses or experiments. But just because you cannot find or phantom the idea of God in your very narrow and limited mind, it does not mean that God does not exist. To claim that something doesn't exist just because you cannot find it, is very arrogant, because no one can ever know EVERYTHING there is to know, even if it's just within their own self - what more the universe.

The following is what I got from a Richard Dawkins, arrogantly demonstrating what I've said above. And I'd like put after that, what I'm reminded of, from the translations of the Qur'an, and my personal viewpoint.

The debate on youtube here.

At minute 31:25, the arrogant man said: Such a Grand God, the God of the Cosmos, the God of of the Physicist, the God the Hyper Mathematician, God, the Master Architect - that would be a God worth worshiping. Probably not worth praying to, for that sort of Cosmic God worthy of proper reverence and respect would have better things to do than bother Himself with the trivia of human prayers and human sins and human preoccupations. The sort of God I would not feel like worshiping would be one who, far from fixing his thoughts on his magnificent creation, was instead obsessed with sins. Sin, sin, sin, sin, sin. The obsession of the Christian God. Interested in nothing but the sin, including private acts which do nobody else any harm, of the members of one particular species of old world primate, on one small planet, orbiting one rather small star amidst a hundred billion stars, some are in the outer suburb of one ordinary galaxy among a hundred billion galaxies. Such delusion of grandeur to think that a God with a hundred billion galaxies on his mind would give a tetany damn who you sleep with, or indeed whether you believe in him.

Subhanallah.. you think that God is in need of your worship and prayers? That's what a lot of human fail to understand, even among the religious ones. We are the one in need of the prayers to God, as a source of constant remembrance (for man is ever so forgetful), and strength as a guard against sinful thoughts and deeds.

"And Moses added : If you should [ever] deny the truth, you and whoever else lives on earth - all of you, [know that] verily, God is indeed Self Sufficient, ever to be praised!" Surah Ibrahim 14:8 - translation of the Qur'an by Asad.

"Verily, I - I alone - am God; there is no deity save Me. Hence, worship Me alone, and be constant in prayer, so as to remember Me!" Surah Ta-Ha 20:14 - translation of the Qur'an by Asad.

"Recite what is sent of the Book by inspiration to thee, and establish regular Prayer: for Prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds; and remembrance of Allah is the greatest (thing in life) without doubt. And Allah knows the (deeds) that ye do." Surah Al-Ankabut 29:45 - translation of the Qur'an by Yusuf Ali.

And you think, just because God looks after the universe, that He would have no capacity to look at all of us individually? That He has no capacity to care for us individually? How infantile and backward your thoughts are.

"The creation of you all, and the resurrection of you all, is but like the creation of a single soul, for verily God is all-hearing, all-seeing." 31:28 Surah Luqman - translation of the Qur'an by Yusuf Ali

Why must God bother with you even if you don't harm anyone else?
God loves you. Ask your mother if she would let you harm yourself, even if what you do, doesn't harm anyone else.
Or if you have children, let your child do something to harm himself, if what he does, does not harm anyone else - would you?

"When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me: Let them also, with a will, Listen to My call, and believe in Me: That they may walk in the right way."
2:186 Surah Al Baqarah - translation of the Qur'an by Yusuf Ali.

At minute 38:08, the arrogant man said : The explanation for the existence of things like eyes, is almost laughably simple but it had to wait for the 19th century before we got a clue as to how it came about. Before Darwin it would have taken a deep deep take, a great a philosophical mind to spot that the argument from design, the argument that says, 'because it screams 'design' at you', therefore there must have been a designer. That is a deeply fallacious argument and it doesn't explain anything. The designer himself or herself of itself, would have to have been himself, a highly complicated object a highly sophisticated object in order to achieve that level of design.

What does that mean? Just because I came across a wonderfully decorated cake, and I myself cannot do it, and I know of nobody who can, therefore the cake was created by chance? That is a scientific proof? Clear sign of arrogance.

"On the earth are signs for those of assured Faith, As also in your own selves: Will ye not then see?"
51:20-21 Az-Zariyat

"And We have made the heavens as a canopy well guarded: yet do they turn away from the Signs which these things (point to)!" 21:32
Surah Al-Anbiya

"And if all the trees on earth were pens and the ocean (were ink), with seven oceans behind it to add to its (supply), yet would not the words of Allah be exhausted (in the writing): for Allah is Exalted in Power, full of Wisdom." 31:27 Luqman

- translations of the Qur'an by Yusuf Ali.

*in the video, you can also see how RUDE the last atheist speaker, i don't remember his name, as he responded to a senior pastor with his hands, beckoning him to come as if for a fight. Such arrogance!!! SO RUDE!!!

Subhanallaah. God guides whom He wills, those who WANTS to be guided.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


The pattern of waking during the day when it is light and sleeping at night when it is dark is a natural part of human life. Only recently have scientists begun to understand the alternating cycle of sleep and waking, and how it is related to daylight and darkness.

A key factor in how human sleep is regulated is exposure to light or to darkness. Exposure to light stimulates a nerve pathway from the retina in the eye to an area in the brain called the hypothala-mus. There, a special center called the supra-chiasmatic nucleus (SCN) initiates signals to other parts of the brain that control hormones, body temperature and other functions that play a role in making us feel sleepy or wide awake.

Taken from :

"for, were they not aware that it is We who had made the night for them, so that they might rest therein, and the day, to make [them] see? In this, behold, there are messages indeed for people who will believe! "
~ An Naml 27:86

IT IS GOD who has made the night for you, so that you might rest therein, and the day, to make [you] see. Behold, God is indeed limitless in His bounty unto man - but most men are ungrateful.
~ Ghafir 40:61

In time We shall make them fully understand Our messages [through what they perceive] in the utmost horizons [of the universe] and within themselves, so that it will become clear unto them that this [revelation] is indeed the truth. [Still,] is it not enough [for them to know] that thy Sustainer is witness unto everything?
~ Fussilat 41:53

Translations of the Qur'an by Muhammad Asad

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Productive Muslim's Seminar

Last Sunday, was quite a fruitful day for me. For many Sundays already, it was just quite plain or just an activity or two, other than reading. but last Sunday I was out of the house from morning till night, doing fruitful stuff. One of them is attending a Productivity Seminar brought to us by Productive Muslim.

It is by far the most engaging seminar I've ever attended (as far as I can remember), masyaa Allah. What I like most about it, is the fact that it is talking about what seem to be a normal topic like 'productivity' - I mean, nothing Islamic - however, in this talk, it talks about achieving Productivity from a Muslim's perspective, where we have our Qur'an and Sunnah to guide us in life. This is what I've always been craving for. I've always questioned, WHY we need to read the westerner's self help books on this and that, when we can find so much example and sayings from our own Prophet (PBUH).

Other times, when it's an Islamic talk - it's really Islamic, as in the speaker doesn't leave much room on how we can apply it in our daily lives, living in these crazy world. Or, sometimes, I feel like we're too shy to portray Islam as a perfect way of living - or we don't even have confidence in it - that we have to solely refer to non-muslim westerner's books. I'm not saying they are totally wrong or useless, of course some books are really useful - but what I'm saying is, have we looked in our own backyard yet?

Here is a seminar and a speaker who is confident in his Deen, masyaa Allah, and it is clear from the way he shares with us about how our Deen can help us become better people, and more productive. Quoting sources from the Qur'an and Hadith, he gives examples and encouragement on how to achieve it. Confident is he, that he is not afraid to do something different such as, taking a cat nap and asking the attendees to do the same - and really did it. After all, power naps are helpful in a whole day lecture.

Taking power naps and how to sleep was part of the topics discussed.

I want to share with you this site, which was recommended by the speaker Mohammed Faris, helping you plan your sleep. When to sleep or when to wake up. Check it out. My son and I tried it - and it works, masyaa Allah.

The next time you hear of this talk coming to your town, try not to miss it!

May Allah SWT reward the speaker and the people behind this seminar for their effort.

Monday, January 28, 2013

"Do Not Despair" - Muhammad Al-Mukhtar Ash-Shinqitee

A good and timely reminder for me.

Conversations of the trees

We cannot hear the trees calling each to each, as T.S. Elliot claimed to hear the mermaids. But the air is abuzz with their conversations nonetheless, conducted in vaporous chemistry, and the ground too, via the bush telegraph of their roots.
~ Colin Tudge. Page 359, The Secret Life of Trees.

Such a beautiful thought. The conversations of the trees. This is non-fiction. This reminds me of the following verse, and I wonder if that is what the first ayat is also referring to.

The Qur'an is indeed miraculous, and Allah SWT is the Reality.

By the winds that scatter broadcast;
And those that lift and bear away heavy weights;
And those that flow with ease and gentleness;
And those that distribute and apportion by Command
Verily that which ye are promised is true;
And verily Judgment and Justice must come to pass.
Az-Zariyat 51:1-6
Translation of the Qur'an by Yusuf Ali

Charity to those in need (and what if..)

Have you ever wanted to give sadaqah (charity) to someone who asked or just to someone you don't know too well, and you wonder, if the person really deserves the sadaqah?

Because we should try to give our sadaqah to those who are really in need, and preferably to those who believe in Allah and the Last Day.

So in the end, we either end up not giving sadaqah at all, or we become troubled by trying to find the background, and then still end up not giving. Is it that difficult to give out sadaqah?

I am glad to have come across this hadith. (I don't know what the status of this hadith is yet. It's not from Sahih Bukhari, it's from Riyad-us-Saliheen that I saw online. I understand that not all hadith in the latter book is authentic. I hope this one is - I'll need to find out from someone learned.)

What this tells me, or reminds me is that of course, we will not be able to always know if a person is really in need, or if the person will end up using our money for something bad - but as long as we have done our due caution, and then we give out our sadaqah out of sincerity - for the sake of Allah SWT alone - to help, then insyaa Allah, our sadaqah is good.

So, let's not hold back and give sadaqah freely to those in need (to the best of our knowledge at the point).

Abu Hurairah (R.A) said : The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said : 'A man (from amongst the people before you) said : 'Indeed! I will give in charity." So he took his Sadaqah out and placed it in a thief's hand. In the morning the people were talking and saying,"Sadaqah was given to a thief last night."

The man said : 'O Allah! Praise be to You, I have given Sadaqah to a thief. Indeed, I will give in charity!'. So he took his Sadaqah out and he placed it in a prostitute's hand. In the morning the people were talking and saying 'Sadaqah was given to a prostitute last night.'

On hearing this, the man said, "Praise be to You, O Allah! I gave Sadaqah to a prostitute. Indeed, I will give in charity!". So he took his Sadaqah out and placed it in a rich man's hand. In the morning, the people were talking and saying 'Sadaqah was given to a rich man last night."

The man said: O Allah! Praise be to You (for helping me) give charity to a thief, a prostitute and a rich man'.

Then he had a dream in which he was told that this Sadaqah to the thief might result in his refraining from his theft, his Sadaqah to the prostitute might help her abstain from her immorality, and his Sadaqah to the rich man might help him pay heed and spend from what Allah had bestowed upon him.

Hadith #1865, Al Bukhari from the book Riyad-us-Saliheen