Madame Blossom's Book of Poems

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

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Weapons of Mass Distraction

I kind of miss those days when I can just write whatever I was thinking or feeling. Now I always do it with caution, and that's not a bad thing I guess. I want to avoid saying something I would regret. But actually, alhamdulillaah, so far, I THINK I didn't find anything that I regret writing yet.

Now, most updates are on FB or Twitter or Instagram. I miss dwelling on thoughts. Actually I do dwell on them, but they are not 'fit for public consumption' or there is no space to write them. Posting on these sites feels more public - like making an announcement to the world. Posting on a blog seem more personal. It's more for me, and anyone who wants to read. I'm not imposing my posts on anyone online, they make a choice to come to this page or leave if they fear boredom.

I have a love-hate relationship with social network sites. 70% hate, 30% love. Let's start with the love first.

Love because :
1. I can keep in touch with distant family & friends. We know we are fine and alive through our FB posts. Share stories and pictures, see how they are getting along.

2. It's sometimes a place where I find good resources for reading or deepening my knowledge. No not from the posts itself, but from the links provided. We can share good advice.

3. Sometimes even entertained a bit by some clean funny posts, videos or pictures.

Hate because :

1. Sometimes I find myself wanting to check something for just 5 minutes, then end up an hour and a half, browsing updates and pages. They are truly, among the stronger *Weapons of Mass Distraction.

2. Other times I read updates that triggers a string of emotions and thoughts, frustrated at the world, wishing I can do something, but I guess we can only doa. But the thought lingers.

3. Reading some silly posts by others that does not make sense, or is infantile and then I'll be thinking about the state we are in and it again spurs a train of other thoughts.

4. Seeing pictures I don't want to see, which may cause me to have negative thoughts, thus subjected to sinning, so unnecessarily.

5. Seeing a sensational story and making a comment that I'd later regret. If there is nothing nice to say, keep quiet. Better still, stay away.

6. I believe this activity of reading short posts, & quick information, that we subject ourselves to everyday, can alter the way our brain works. Attention span is shortened, since we train ourselves everyday to go from one story to the next unrelated story and change emotion or thoughts with just a blink of an eye. "Eh kesian nya orang-orang ni.", next post "Eh kelakar lah kucing tu!" One second you're empathising with someone, next minute laughing at a cat video (of course, this happens with our news programs too - the change of stories, not the cat video).

7. The thing is, our brain it is like a sponge. It is absorbing all these things we are exposing our senses to, and storing it somewhere in the brain. And these things come out, at the most crucial times, such as during solat, and it is so unnecessary.

Ya Allah, enable us to be strict with our time, grant us greater discipline, strengthen our iman, keep us on the straight path.

*Weapons of Mass Distraction for me, includes the TV, internet, songs, movies, most entertainments and money. If you can't control them, they control you and will distract you from the remembrance of Allah SWT.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Between sireh and dates.

I've always liked dates with almond. I still have some ajwa' from last October.
I bought some almonds. And now when I want to eat the dates, I'd split it open,
take out the seed, put in the almond instead, close back the date, then take a bite.

A few times when I did that, I'm reminded of my late grandma (may Allah bless her soul and forgive her all of her sins).
I don't remember that we have any sireh making apparatus, but if I remember correctly (for at the time, I was still young, before kindergarten I think), whenever she visits her relative, and one who does eat (or munch) on sireh, she would join in.

I remember watching attentively how she used to prepare sireh. She took her sireh, spread something on it, then put some other stuff inside, fold it nicely and put it in her mouth, and started chewing.

Somehow my splitting the date, putting in something, closing it back, then putting it in my mouth, feels somewhat similar. :D

I love my grandma. May Allah bless her soul and forgive her all of her sins, put her in Heaven and I can see her again. Aamiin.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Allah is the Best Provider.

In the spirit of wanting to share Allah's blessings, I tell you this story.
Also to remind me, lest I forget.

This one that I'd like to share is with regards to my Umrah trip with my family last year, and then our Hajj.

About January last year, when I suddenly planned to bring my family to Umrah in March, I already knew that we will most probably get our quota for Hajj also that year. We have some savings, but surely not enough yet for both Umrah with my family of 6, and Hajj. But I felt so strongly about going with the family.

So I calculated what we have in the bank, what we can save from the next 1-2 months before our full payment for Umrah. I figured we'd have to sell some gold from our gold account to cover the Umrah cost. Then we'll have to start again saving up like crazy for Hajj. I did my math and calculated how much gold we need to sell.

When the time came for us to make the payment for Umrah, somehow, masyaa Allah, the money was enough, AND with a some spare. I didn't have to sell any gold. I was very perplexed. Somehow the same numbers previously was not enough. But when it's time to pay, it was. I was sure I had calculated correctly. Even then when I re-calculated, it adds up, but it doesn't make sense. I can't even explain.
Subhanallaah! walhamdulillaah.

Wallaahu 3la kulli syai-in qadiir. Allah has power over ALL things. When God decrees it to be, it does not necessarily have to make sense.

After the Umrah, I started to plan for our Hajj expenses. Then Allah granted us some more rezeki, alhamdulillaah. It was all falling into place so nicely that I became afraid. Afraid if it was a big big test from Allah SWT, and that we might fail. Naudzubillaah.

My son won his car in a golf tournament, and my husband got retrenched, with benefits. I know that 2nd one is suppose to sound bad. :P But it was both good news and bad news. Good, because now we have money for Hajj. :D Bad because he'll have to look for another job pronto, in order for us to survive as per current status. But Allaahu khairuraziqiin. Allah is the Best Provider. I submitted our fate to Allah SWT. I just prayed that He makes us grateful, patient and persevering servants, insyaa Allah.

My husband started a business and got some sales before we went for Hajj. So again, for Hajj we had enough money, without having to resort to selling the gold.

I still feel this whole situation is a miracle of sorts.

Many people say, when Allah 'invites' you to His house - He'll make anything that seems impossible, possible. But if it's not your time yet, you can seem to have all the means to go - but you just won't or cannot go for whatever reason.

So, I am so very thankful for the chances given to my family and I. Alhamdulillaah.

Allaahu Akbar!

'And as for the favour of your Lord, do announce (it)' Ad-Dhuha 93:11
(translation of the Qur'an by Shakir)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Weird World

I saw this movie on youtube the other night, where the main character became a marketing expert who made use of people and manipulated people's minds through movies and advertisements, to sell products. (..this should be an interesting movie..) In one instance, he promoted cosmetic surgery, where a girl involved in the surgery got into a coma. After a few more other bad incidents, this man began to realise that this is not good. He quit his job and went to some countryside to become a shepherd, herding cows. (huh?? err..okaaaaay... )

After many years, one night he had a dream. The dream instructed him exactly what to do. He woke up the next morning, and did as he was 'told'. He tended to his cows, and observed his cows and saw one of his cows turned red by evening. (err..) He took the red cow, sacrificed it by killing it then burning it. He then took some water mixed it with the ashes of the burnt cow and bathed with it. (hmmm... a youtube commenter said that this is a biblical incident... okay.) When it was all over, he passed out. His ex girlfriend - oh yes, he had a girlfriend when he was working as a marketing expert, they had a relationship and this girl now has his 6-7yr old fat son. Fat, because he eats lots of fast food - picked him up and brought him back to town.

When he awakened, he began to see things that others don't see. He saw blob-like things growing out of people's bodies forcing them to buy and consume, basically to become blind consumers. He saw this in his girlfriend and the son too. He figured out that these blobs were the brands. (WHAT on earth am I watching?? Ok.. but it's about brands.. so I'll sit through it..)

He tried to tell his girlfriend about it, and convince his girlfriend of the evil of marketing, branding and advertisements - and not to fall for them. The girlfriend thought that he was going crazy, and wouldn't listen. He then had a plan. He went back to marketing to carry out his plans. It worked and he saw these blobs (brands) grew bigger and started attacking each other. It was a brand war. His intention was to make people realise the ills of advertisements and branding, through this brand wars. Finally it worked, the people protested to the government about all these brands advertisements and manipulation. The government put a ban on advertisements. Advertisements in town begin to disappear one by one (I like that scene).. and the town was calm again.

Everybody lived happily in the end, and the girl who got into a coma at the beginning part of the movie, also woke up and walked out of the hospital - and that was the end of the movie.

Then one youtube commenter said something like: "I don't agree with this movie.. nobody in a long coma can suddenly wake up and walk out of the hospital like that".


What a weird movie. What a weird comment.
Weirdly thought-provoking though.. both of them.
Weird world we live in.
May Allah guide us always. Aamiin.

Sunday, January 06, 2013


Brands used to be formed from people's needs and desires, but now (most) people are being formed according to the needs and desires of the brands.

Think about it.

Do you buy a product because you are really in need of it, or do you buy it because the brands tell you that you need it?
And... you believe them.