Thursday, March 5, 2015

.: Lantern festival :.


One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
12.45pm, Malaysian Time

Sunday, March 1, 2015

.: Marriage Conference P2 :.

A wedding. 

That was how the hall looked like from inside. Everything looked splendid, the lectures were great, the speakers were masha'Allah tabarak'Allah, passionate and full of energy. However, I felt something was amiss. And for some odd reason, I felt I had to be elsewhere. 

It was probably during the third lecture when I decided to leave the hall to grab a cup of coffee. Instead of heading back to the hall, I found myself in the Mother's Room. Surprisingly, I was at ease. I found peace and tranquility. And as insane as it may sound, I felt I belonged there. 

Yes. Of all places, I felt I belonged in the Mother's Room.

I suppose, after being involved with children in previous seminars, I may have gotten used to the chaotic ruckus normally associated with them. 

Queer conclusion. 

Moving along, I would like to share some of the input I got from the conference. May it benefit you in one way or another, ameen.
  1. The Five As in a relationship: Affection, Attention, Acceptance, Affirmation, Acknowledgement
  2. The way you see the world is how you are educated at home. You are the product of your life experiences. 
  3. Find time to engage, to communicate, to celebrate the love. 
  4. Men in superficial relationships: Thinking that the grass is greener at the other side, but once you are there, you will realise there's only sand. 
  5. There is human capacity to forgive. Marriage is worth it. 
  6. Love is about sacrifice. Have mercy. 
  7. Prevent jealousy. Spend on useful parts of social media. Distance yourself. Redirect to Islamic context. 
  8. Have a clear focus of life. Know what really matters and do not be swayed by the glitter of dunya. Focus the heart. Ask Allah to cure us and to put things back into perspective. 
  9. Some people show a photoshopped version of their lives. Get real. Have a deep understanding of life and what it means to be human. 
  10. How to control own displeasure and judging people: Be more emphatic. Mind your own weaknesses. Their perspective may be different. Be compassionate. 
  11. Women feel insecure. You must always tell them you love them. Re-assure them. 
  12. Languages used to express love: Man is more physical. Woman is more emotional and psychological. 
  13. When you belittle another person, when you make others feel like you don't value them, you are breaking the person's heart. Never make someone feel worthless, or even fortunate to have you. Make them feel valuable, and you are fortunate to have them. 
  14. We should be complete. If we sense annoyance, we should respond with compassion. 
  15. Love is not extracting so much from the other person and giving back so little. 
  16. At some point in life, you will be miserable. You will disappoint each other. Face the disappointments with something that is pleasing to God.
Being Me is next!
11.01pm, Malaysian Time

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

.: 出入平安 :.

May there be peace.

Taking this opportunity to wish everyone a wonderful and blessed Lunar New Year. May you and your loved ones experience everlasting love, joy and happiness. While you are it, please remember those who are not as fortunate. Share the goodness, share the warmth. 

Wherever you go.
2.29, Malaysian Time

Friday, February 13, 2015

.: Path to Justice P2 :.

Tariq Ramadan.

Selected quotes that I had paraphrased from attending his talk:
  1. Living your life with principles means living for God.
  2. We are critical of others but how is the quality of our life? Do we live by our principles? Do we struggle?
  3. An evil word is like a tree with bad roots. What are the roots? Our heart. The roots are invisible but the roots show the strength of the tree. It is quality and stability.
  4. If your roots are strong, and your mind is clear, you will not be bothered by others because you are strong within. Otherwise you become an object of perception, and you strive to please others, follow them and inclined to be weak.
  5. Be serious in educating our hearts. Construct yourself with spiritual preparation to counter the threats to come.
  6. Isolate yourself not from the people but isolate yourself from the lack of principles of the people. Isolation from the world is isolation from illusions.
  7. Quality is missing. There are means for you to become better. Find it. Reconcile yourself with the mending of your life. This is it. Begin with yourself. Change your life. Be committed.
  8. They know Islam is a good religion. But where are the great Muslims? What do you do to be a dignified person?
  9. There are rules we must abide and respect.
  10. If you watch the telly and become more stupid, you have been colonised. Read, read, and read. Be careful with the internet. Being stupid is your choice. Read and respond. Add knowledge to knowledge.
  11. Many of us repeat without understanding. Love is not about taking everything. Love in Islam is critical love. I love you but I have a question.
  12. Regarding the Dalai Lama. Anyone disciplined has something to teach you. You may not believe his beliefs, but he is a dignified individual and deserves our respect.
  13. You have to be serious with your interactions with the people. It strengthens your principles.
  14. Liberate Islam from the cultural dress. There are cultures that are biased towards women. That is wrong. There are cultures that champion another race. That is wrong.
  15. We are a nation of clarity, not a confused lot.
  16. Challenge our culture. Many are Muslims by culture, we should be Muslims by principles.
  17. We are self-colonised by corruption. Stop blaming the west for colonisation. Stop complaining.
  18. As a community, stop being defensive and apologetic. Be assertive, confident and have trust.
  19. Stop having a distorted mindset. No generalisation. Challenge the reality. Be critical. Because we want to be aware. It is essential.
  20. You may be Muslims but you must always be on the side of the oppressed. Have courage, not the lack of it.
  21. Take care of myself, isolate to have time for myself and to look at the fine details in my life.
  22. Are you an added presence or value in your neighbourhood? Start now.
May it benefit others, ameen.
2.12pm, Malaysian Time

Sunday, February 8, 2015

.: Fallen angels :.

Making a living. 

Both girls smiled shyly at me. One, was carrying a basket full of packets of tissue papers. The other, held firmly to the hem of her dress.

I called them to come nearer. 

Girl 1: Buy tissue? 
Me: Sure. Is she your little sister? 
Girl 1: Yes. 

The girls were barely 9. Yet there they were on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, selling packets of tissue papers. For a moment, I wondered why were they not in school, where were their parents, where do they live. However, due to language limitations, they were not able to divulge much details. The hardship that they face each day seemed to fade away when we shared a few moments together. 

The memories I have of my childhood were mostly filled with playtime, reading and watching cartoons. Thus I often find it difficult to understand how children in some parts of the world can be subjected to child labour. At such a young age, these children have to grow beyond their years and take on the responsibility of contributing towards the livelihood of the family.

As much as I want to believe that the girls, like other child labourers, do not have a choice in this matter, and that they have been driven to be in the trade due to circumstances, their sheer innocence, oblivious to the potential danger that may fall upon them, stifled me.  

The last few minutes of our encounter were spent on a couple of photography sessions. The girls loved seeing their faces on the camera, and they giggled at their own pictures. After having their fill of laughs, they both said their thanks and goodbyes. 

And with a heavy heart, I let them walk away. 
11.08am, Malaysian Time