Sunday, January 25, 2015

.: Morning call :.

Ho Chi Minh.

I was woken-up by our neighbours. All sorts of amazing smells were coming into my room. Somehow rather, I had left the window open, the night before. 

Fascinated by the smells, I scrambled for my glasses and took a look at my cell phone. 4.30am? I took another look. Yes, 4.30am. When did my neighbours start cooking? How early did they wake-up from their slumber? Why am I still in bed asking all these questions to myself?

With my head still up in the clouds, I went to the balcony and peered over. A few aunties had set-up a few tables, right at their doorstep. Noodles, rice, meat and vegetables. A sumptuous spread. The tables were filled with a wide variety of food, just waiting for people to buy. Every now and then, I could see motorcyclists making a quick stop to grab a quick bite. 

Hearing all the chatter. Seeing the warm exchange of smiles. Smelling the wonderful aroma of each delectable-looking food. All of these reminded me of the morning and night markets that I used to frequent to when I was in Malaysia. 

I just had to experience it, the Vietnamese way. 
12.38 noon, Malaysian Time

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

.: Journey of Faith P3 :.

Final share.

May it be beneficial to you and your loved ones:

  1. Surah Al-Fatihah is a dua.
  2. You are having a beautiful dialogue with Allah when you recite Surah Al-Fatihah. So don't rush into it. Savour the moment. 
  3. As long as your dua is not a sin, it will be answered. Allah is All Hearing. 
  4. Surah An-Nur talks about modesty and chastity but in the middle of the surah, Allah said that He is The Light of the sky. The light of Allah can be attained by being modest and guarding your chastity. 
  5. Only in Surah As-Saffaat that Allah did not mention the west after mentioning the east. That is because Allah is talking about the rise of Islam and that it will never stop rising. There is no mention of the west since it is the side where the sun sets. 
  6. Wisdom is to put things at the right time and its rightful place.
  7. The problem with da'wah and educating Islam now is that people only hear it but do not see it. We must put Islam into practice! 
  8. Your akhirah begins once you die.
  9. Sleep is the minor death. Sleep should make us reflect on death. The dream that we have is different from one another and the emotion in it is physical. The effect of it is also physical. Just like whatever we will experience in the grave is physical. 
  10. Reflect on the seed, how it can grow back when planted in earth even if it is a hundred years old. We will also sprout back from our death from the end bone of our backbone. 
  11. When you believe in the hereafter, it will make you strong, motivate you to strive for goodness and stay away from sins.
  12. If you are conscious of the hereafter, no disturbance will bother you.
  13. Just because Allah knows everything, it doesn't mean that He doesn't give us choices. He knows what will happen and if things were to be done differently, than how it will be. 
  14. The choice is ours. You can't blaim the qadr for your actions. 
  15. You can't claim that you love someone for the sake of Allah if you don't make dua for them.
  16. Give rights to your body/health, to your family and to Allah. Balance it all. Politely decline to people's request in order to follow your schedule. 
  17. Seek 70 excuses for your brother and sister when you are in doubt. Shaytaan will always make the situation seems worse than what it really is.  
  18. Say good or remain silent. If you have an opinion, it doesn't mean that you have to say it. 
  19. Statistically, there are only 1% harsh people but we always make it seem like it is 50%. 
  20. The brotherhood in faith is stronger than in blood.
  21. When you are merciful to each other, Allah will be merciful to you.
  22. Make dua for orhers, you will get it too.
  23. When you love your brother or sister, tell her. Brother to brother. Sister to sister.
  24. Your love to someone should be proportional to their closeness to Allah. But for the sinners, you must still love and make dua for hidayah and goodness for them. Hate the sin, not the sinner. 
  25. Do not mock people. Are you making fun of the creations and the Creator? 
  26. Everyone deserves to get knowledge. Share it! 
  27. Learn one thing of everything. Learn everything of one thing. 
  28. Seek your afterlife but do not forget about your share in this dunya 
  29. When you ask something from the dunya, tie it with the akhirah. Eg: ask for provision so that you can spend in the way of Allah. 
  30. You can have dunya in your hand but dunya should not have you in its hand. 
  31. Shaytan will always trick you with the "all or nothing" trick. So you will not do good deeds if you don't have at least an hour of free time.  
  32. Consistent small deeds do make difference in your life. 
  33. Prioritize your goals. Write down what you need to do. 
  34. Get good companies. Surround yourself with those who will remind you of Allah.
  35. True friends are those who want you to enter Jannah. 
If time stood still.
4.43pm, Malaysian Time

Sunday, January 18, 2015

.: Lapsed reality :.


It was one of those days. A friend asked a favour from me to interview some parents. 

Friend :: Some of them can only speak Chinese. That's where you come in. :DDD 

I didn't know what to expect. I was speaking to the teachers in English when the parents came in. 

Parent :: Sorry ya. I don't speak good English. At home we speak Cantonese. My daughter teach me English. She oso teach her grandfather. Always sing one~ 

The parents put in so much effort to speak in English that I didn't have the heart to tell them that we can conduct the interview in Chinese. Plus it was heartwarming to see the interactions between the children and their parents. 

Language isn't always a barrier.
10.53am, Malaysian Time

Thursday, January 15, 2015

.: Good morning :.


A place to stay.

We need a place to stay.

The taxi driver brought us to a bustling neighbourhood. We saw children running along the streets, and adults handling their wares. Everyone spoke in Vietnamese. We were beginning to wonder whether the taxi driver had brought us to the right location. 

At a distance, we saw an old lady smiling at us. Dressed in her traditional attire, she gestured for us to come closer to her. Tired, hungry and feeling utterly restless, we had no idea who she was. We had just arrived in Vietnam and we didn’t know whether to acknowledge her or to just walk away. Upon seeing our hesitation, she started to speak to us in the little English that she knew. We could barely understand her English, but we eventually came to the conclusion that her nephew had sent her to pick us up. 

She brought us down a narrow alley. Occasionally a couple of motorbikes would pass by, and we had to give way. After walking for about 10 minutes, we reached our apartment. 

“You must lock house. People steal motorbikes. Must lock house,” said the old lady. 

And she left.

12.57noon, Malaysian Time

Sunday, January 11, 2015

.: Shifting priorities :.

A new life.

"To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.”
Bill Bryson
Begins now. 
9.02pm, Malaysian Time