Wednesday, November 24, 2010

.: Timely departure :.


The demise of my granduncle.

Days went by, but the air was still stifled with streaks of grief and anguish. Only today do I feel as though normalcy had returned to our household.

~

Since my toddler years, my late granduncle fondly calls me "Siti Kaya" whenever I feel heavy in the dumps. The pet name was a reminder of my inability to pronounce "S". I used to get really peeved each time he calls me that, until one day he propped me on his lap and said;

"I initially did that to tease you, but I truly hope that one day you will grow up to be someone who is "Kaya" *rich* in values. :)".

His last words on 20 Nov were;

"Are you leaving already?"

That was when he looked pass me and I knew it won't be long until I lose him. That I can no longer hear my beloved granduncle calling me "Siti Kaya" anymore ...

انّا للہ و انّا الیه راجعون
Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un
Verily we belong to God and to God we shall return.

May Allah S.W.T accept his good deeds, forgive his wrongdoings and place him among His beloved.

Resuming working life.
2.31pm Malaysian Time

Monday, November 22, 2010

.: Kolam :.


Bedazzled.



These magnificent vibrant "Kolams" were part of the Deepavali @ Diwali celebrations decorations displayed at the concourse area of Midvalley Megamall. Just by looking at it, I can't imagine the amount of time it took to create these laborious designs.

I was perpetually bowled over by its splendor.
1.16pm Malaysian Time

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

.: Eid Al-Adha :.


临潭县.

ファイル:Location of Lintan within Gansu (China).png

Malaysia will celebrate Eid Al-Adha tomorrow, Insha'Allah. Although it had been several years since I performed my pilgrimage, the memories are still very much intact. Seeing the pilgrims in the telly only intensifies the longing to go there again. Perhaps God will give me the chance to do so within the next 10 years.

Commonly Muslims will do their qurban if they can afford to do so during this time. Coincidentally, I found out that one of my friends from Lintan, Gansu China organizes the qurban yearly at his hometown. If anyone wants to do their qurban there next year or need further information, just shoot me an email and I'll link him to you, Insha'Allah.

With that, I take this space and time to wish everyone ...

Selamat Hari Raya Haji @ Qurban!

May you have a blessed holiday with your loved ones!

The journey begins.
8.46am Malaysian Time

Monday, November 8, 2010

.: 累 :.


Tired.

Just occurred to me that I haven't been blogging much here; which is a stark contrast to my private blog. I had been occupied with work and classes, therefore leaving little time for me to do much of anything else. No material equates to nothing spectacular to post about. :)

In one way or the other, I supposed throughout the last few weeks I have joined with the ranks of the bored, monotonous and the restless. Even so, I just want to tell my readers that I am still alive and well. I know that I haven't been prudent in responding to emails, but I will get on to it Insha'Allah.

On this bright and clear Monday, I hope everybody starts this brand new week with a positive spirit. :)

Time sure flies.
12noon Malaysian Time

Sunday, October 17, 2010

.: Monumental eclipse :.


Scattered here and yon.


Sometimes ten seconds feel longer than a quarter of a century.

Sometimes.
11.22pm Malaysian Time

Monday, October 11, 2010

.: Scavenger :.


Dirt and rubble.

He diligently rummaged through the piles of rubbish. The foul stench and scorching sun didn't matter to him. A decent looking young man who couldn't possibly be more than his late 20s, he finally grabbed 2 toolboxes, a couple of garbage bags and placed it on his carrier. Seemingly satisfied with his haul of the day, he left the premises.

... ~ ...

I was doing my work from home when I heard the postman delivering the mail. Half an hour later I decided to check our mail. As I was about to step out of the house, that was when I saw a man loitering around our garbage bin. He didn't look like the garbage collectors, so I decided to peek through the curtains and observe his behavior.

In some areas in the city we can still find someone rummaging through rubbish looking for recyclable materials. However, this was my first time seeing someone doing that at a residential area. I had mixed feelings. Part of me wanted to go and offer him assistance of any kind. Another part restricts me from doing that because of safety reasons.

Just hope that whatever he found then, will be useful for him and possibly his family.

Oscar the Grouch.
11.13am Malaysian Time

Saturday, October 2, 2010

.: 伊斯兰教 :.


Islam.



Pls click on the images to enlarge it


Brother Ikhwan wrote a blog entry relating his experience at PERKIM HQ; [A Trip to PERKIM HQ], where he also posted some images of the Islamic reading materials he obtained while he was there.

As I have a small collection of my own written in Chinese, I felt called upon to share it here particularly to my Chinese Muslim friends since I've heard it's not easy for them to get it. Some of these books were published in Malaysia while others were brought over from China, Singapore and Turkey.

If anyone wants to read any of this, I'm not too sure whether I can purchase/source the overseas publications since it was gifted to me some time ago. However, I am willing to lend, photocopy or scan the contents for you. Should you require additional reading materials, I can try asking friends in PERKIM and MACMA.

Sharing knowledge.
10.34am Malaysian Time

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

.: Wednesday :.


Another rainy day.

At a Chinese Muslim Restaurant in Shenzhen.

The owner was speaking in super lighting speed slurry Chinese. I guess the owner is in his early 40s, a merry guy who is very generous with his smiles and laughter. Acknowledging my incompetence, I gave up any efforts to comprehend his speech and chose to focus on something much more interesting; like the colorful menu while my friend kept him entertained.


Me :: What did he say?
Friend :: I don't know.
Me :: What do you mean?
Friend :: His dialect is a little different. He was asking where are you from, and are you a Muslim. I told him you're from Malaysia, and ya. He told me he heard Malaysia is famous for aerobics.
Me :: Aerobics? You just made that up right?
Friend :: I'm serious. He did say that.
Me :: Aerobics??? ... but why aerobics? *starts looking at the menu again; so many good food, too little time to try them all!*
Friend :: Beats me.

My friend had such a stoic expression on his face that I couldn't possibly think he was lying when he said that. But really ... why aerobics? Why?

PS :: This may be a little belated, but Happy Mid-Autumn Festival *
中秋节快乐* to everyone! I still have one mooncake sitting in the fridge. :)

Hitting the books.

9.10am Malaysian Time

Monday, September 20, 2010

.: 覆水難收 :.


Opening chapter.





Global Hanyu & Culture College (GHCC) is a leading provider of Mandarin courses and study in China programs. It has a partnership with Shanghai Jiaotong University in the Confucius Institute @ Shanghai Jiaotong University - Global Hanyu & Culture Center in Kuala Lumpur - this is a member of the worldwide network of Confucius Institute under the Chinese government's International Council for the promotion of Hanyu abroad.

The Good News

After some conversations and reading tests, the teacher estimated that my Chinese proficiency level is between level 3 and 4. Level 3 and 4 touch on intermediate Hanyu grammar, hearing, practical oral, pronunciation, character recognition, and introduction to culture. Introductory class begins this Wednesday. Thankfully, there are only 6 levels so I will most probably complete all of it by mid of next year.

The teacher also suggested I sit for the Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK - Chinese Proficiency Test) level 4.

The Not-So-Good News

The upcoming HSK test is this November.

Can I make it?
9.45am Malaysian Time

Monday, September 13, 2010

.: Sea of amity :.


Friendship.


The most beautiful discovery that true friends can make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.

Elizabeth Foley

Back at work.
12.47noon Malaysian Time

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

.: Selamat Hari Raya :.


Maaf zahir dan batin.


Accepting forgiveness can be as difficult as offering it so perhaps out of the 365 days in a year we can take this blessed opportunity to open our hearts and seek forgiveness from others as well as accept their forgiveness. Hopefully this will mend and strengthen our bonds with one another, allowing us to get on with our lives basking in the light of a re-energized positive conscience.


.................................... ~ ....................................

:: Eid Greetings ::

Eid mubarak to my dear readers, brothers, sisters and loved ones!

May all of you have a joyous celebration!

Have a safe and pleasant journey!

.................................... ~ ....................................


In this regard I will sincerely appreciate it if everyone can forgive me if I'd ever written or done anything that may anger, hurt or sadden any of you. I will resume blogging on Sunday, Insha'Allah. :)

Reviving forgiveness.
11.55pm Malaysian Time

Thursday, September 2, 2010

.: Simple life :.


Rumah terbuka
.


The happiness of one's own heart alone cannot satisfy the soul; one must try to include, as necessary to one's own happiness, the happiness of others.

Malaysians are very synonymous with rumah terbuka *open houses*, and although Eid is about a week away I'm already receiving invitations. Apparently I have lost some weight so friends are taking turns to stuff me; not that I'm complaining. God willing I will organize one again this year, albeit I hope to do a simpler kind.

Not too long ago I became friends with a sister who leads a very simple life with her husband and children. Our correspondences made me all the more thankful with what I have as my seemingly 'simple' life pretty much pales in comparison to theirs. Coming from humble backgrounds, I
wish to learn the simple life from her too, and in due course share our ups and downs with each other. We almost went our separate ways due to some internal concerns but praise the Lord our bonds are stronger than ever now. Sincerity, patience and perseverance along with sisterly love and the blessings from our Lord made it possible, Alhamdulillah.

PS :: To my dear readers, brothers and sisters who had given me the love and support during these past few days, I thank you so much. Only God can repay your kindness.

Ramadhan is coming to an end.
11.58am Malaysian Time

Monday, August 30, 2010

.: 你不知道的事 :.


The things you don't know.

你不知道我為什麼離開你
You don't know why I left you

我堅持不能說放任你哭泣
I insist on not telling you and let your tears run

你的淚滴像 傾盆大雨
Your teardrops seem like a heavy downpour

王力宏; Wang Leehom

Yesterday my family got word that my uncle passed away, thus we made plans to return to my Southern home today. It was a solemn moment for everyone, as everybody silently carries a tearful heart mourning the loss of a brother, uncle, father and grandfather.

... ~ ...

On another note; please lend your support to a dear sister of mine in her noble attempt to solicit financial aids for the people of Pakistan. You may find more info here: Wings of Humanity.

A blue Monday.
5.59am Malaysian Time

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

.: Provincial lapse :.


Differential treatment.

Last month I attended a lecture at PERKIM. Alhamdulillah, the overall experience was extremely beneficial and uplifting. There were many sisters and everyone was very pleasant. As a fresh face I had a couple of regular sisters who graciously extended their friendship. Simply said, the feeling of having random people coming up to you, smile and say salam truly comforts the heart and soul.

... ~ ...

Earlier I told a brother *the same brother as the one in this post* that I wanted to attend their classes and lectures.

Why? You already know most of these things. These classes are for beginners. You are beyond that.

I beg to differ really. In school I regarded religious subjects as just another subject. It's not like I've forgotten what I've learned, however I believe I wasn't really paying attention to any of it and I feel that I may have missed out on a handful of things. As of now, I haven't gone to any of the classes yet since my cousin wanted to join me. Will embark on the spiritual enrichment journey after Eid Insha'Allah.

Building blocks.
9.54pm Malaysian Time

Monday, August 23, 2010

.: Dawn and dusk :.


When stars fall.

Every act of goodness is charity


PETALING JAYA, 19 August 2010 - In response to the deadly floods in Pakistan, which has resulted in the significant loss of lives and homes, Malaysia's Media Prima Berhad (Media Prima), the New Straits Times Press (M) Berhad (NSTP) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) today initiated a joint appeal to raise funds for humanitarian aid. more...


For the third year running, SimplyIslam is organising the annual Ramadan Charity Basket program. SimplyIslam hopes to raise SGD10,000 to provide food provisions and financial assistance to some of Muslim Kidney Action Association (MKAC) and Ang Mo Kio FSC (AMK-FSC) most needy welfare recipients. more ...

Sometimes I feel that by extending our hands to help the less fortunate, we are really extending our hearts to reach theirs. How else can one explain the warmth one feels each time an act of kindness and charity is done towards others? By giving a piece of our heart out, we don't end up losing it. It dwells in the hearts of the ones it has touched, and continues to be filled and brimmed with warmth.

Be creative.
9.34am Malaysian Time

Friday, August 20, 2010

.: Mutiara minda :.


Membaca sambil beramal.

From August 1 to October 31, MPH Bookstores is selling the "Mutiara Minda" card.
All proceeds from the selling of the card will be distributed to 10 selected orphanages.


:: Translation Notes ::
  • Mutiara Minda; pearl intellect; precious intellect.
  • Membaca sambil beramal; reading while doing charity.


For someone who seldom reads Malay books, I eventually settled with these Islamic reference material. The first two books discuss about prayers, while the last touches about supplications. I also bought a set of Arabic alphabets flashcards. Thought it'd be a good gift for anyone who's learning it.

Moving along, I'll post the Eid cards by Monday Insha'Allah. Although today is the due date, I will still accept requests provided you don't mind receiving it after Eid. Our postal service can become super chaotic during this time; no kidding.

Happy Friday everyone. :)
9.57pm Malaysian Time

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

.: Bazaar Ramadhan :.


Kuala Lumpur.


From left to right :: Chocodate, Halal certification, dim sum, ayam madu, random lady, otak-otak.


From left to right :: Ikan bakar, dim sum, roti boom pandan.

Photos were taken at the Ramadhan bazaars held in Wangsa Maju and Danau Kota. I was elated to find ... CHOCODATE!!! Alas the seller was away for Asar prayers so I didn't get to purchase any. Then I found these guys selling halal dim sum, and they even displayed the halal certification! As usual I obtained their permission before I snapped their photos. *the first guy was very shy ... =.=*

Brief descriptions ::
  • Ayam (Chicken) Madu (Honey) - BBQ chicken wings smothered in honey, spices etc.
  • Otak-otak (literal translation 'Brains') - A combination of fish paste, spices and etc. wrapped in banana leaf; may be grilled or steamed.
  • Ikan (Fish) Bakar (Grilled) - Grilled fish with air asam (sour dip).
  • Roti (Bread) Boom (I have no idea how to translate this) Pandan (Screw-pine leaf) - Resembles roti prata (Singapore) or roti canai (Malaysia); just smaller and circular in shape. The seller diversified the original recipe by using pandan extract.
Out of the long stretch of stalls, I only bought ikan bakar and dim sum to complement the dishes we have at home. One must keep in mind that this isn't the time to indulge in unnecessary spending, let alone finding means to waste any excess food.

Note
: For some background, please refer to my Arabian Delights post regarding my once upon a time fixation over Chocodate; the heavenly yet sinful confectionery.
:)

Another rainy day!
10.03pm Malaysian Time

Sunday, August 15, 2010

.: Veiled tresses :.


Forbidden locks.

After spending hours of drowning myself in countless articles, it eventually felt as if my entire life essence was sucked into the computer screen. In the brink of losing into that lifeless stage, I blasted some high-energy teen boppy pop songs to get the rhythm back into my system. A short interim to the washroom and a few sips of plain water, I switched to Qur'an recitals and resumed my work. *bubble gum songs can do wicked things to a person of my age. coughs*


... ~ ...

Sis :: The family thought you're going to become some ultra-pious person after we returned from Hajj.
Me :: Just because I dumped my biographies and comics?
Sis :: That and a few other things, but they're alright now.

I can't deny that certain changes had taken place since then, and honestly speaking, the transitional changes are still going on, Alhamdulillah. Furthermore, I am not so gung-ho as to take the deep plunge instantly. Doing things one step at a time, towards the betterment of oneself Insha'Allah.

One clear example is before Hajj I succumbed to the "need-to-fit-in" excuse. Although my non-Muslim friends never treated me any different, I didn't like being the odd one out with the hijab. So whenever we went for holidays together, my hijab went on a holiday too. After Hajj, I still led that kind of life thus I positioned myself as a give and take 355/365 days hijabi; approximately 10 days self-imposed holiday.


The turning point happened several days after I came home from China, when a friend IM-ed me;

Friend :: I don't understand how you are able to find the strength to deal and accept things. The only conclusion I have is it must be your faith towards your religion.
Me :: If my faith is that strong, why am I insecure with my hijab?

Since then, I made it a point to wear my hijab regardless of how "out of place" I felt. I also try hard to stop folding and rolling up my sleeves *bad habit*, observing my behavior and constantly reminding myself that I am working with men. *on most days, I'm often the only female species around* Even if I don't see them as men *to make things easier at work*, they are still men; to be all the more specific non-mahram men.

Reaching the first 365/365.
12.18noon Malaysian Time

Sunday, August 8, 2010

.: رمضان كريم :.


Ramadhan Kareem.


With the arrival of our beloved
Ramadhan I'm organizing my 2nd Eid greeting cards event!!! Please click here for last year's post ~ Season' s Greetings.

Apart from sharing the many joys and generosity of
Ramadhan/Eid, and this newfound passion of mine, it's also my way of expressing my gratitude to everyone for taking the time to loiter around my little space. *like how often do you receive mail from some unknown stranger?*

Quick recap;


I'll post you an Eid greeting card, irregardless of your location, age, religion, race etc. Even if you don't celebrate Eid, celebrating it in hiding, or have never even heard of it, I will still send you one if and ONLY if ...

You provide your name, home and email address by August 20th 2010; either by sending it to hajar.alwi@gmail.com or leaving it in the comments section. *it won't get published*

Otherwise, if you don't have enough faith in me *maybe you think I might miraculously poof in front of your doorstep or distribute your address to a bunch of loan sharks* but you still have that gripping desire to receive an Eid greeting card card, I can send a virtual greeting. Whichever works for you.

Disclosure :: Any info you provide shall be well guarded with extreme caution. Images are courtesy of Memory Lane (M) Sdn. Bhd. Will send these out, Insha'Allah.

Stocking cards. :)
6.56pm Malaysian Time

Monday, August 2, 2010

.: Collected memories :.


Revealed.


A short time ago I had this conversation with someone who is very dear to me. Our little tiff didn't last long, and we're back on good terms Alhamdulillah. She was just watching out for me, fearful of my movements. The purpose of writing this down is not to provoke or badmouth her, but it's more of sharing the kind of reaction I get every now and then from others, particularly the ones who insinuate religion is linked to a certain race/culture. Call me daft if you may, but I don't give a hoot about a person's race when it comes to acquiring religious knowledge or anything else for that matter.

Person :: Of all people, why can't you learn about Islam from someone else?
Me :: What's the problem?
Person :: He's Chinese. How much does he know about Islam? How far back is his generations that embraced Islam? I'm talking about lineage, bloodline. Can you understand this?
Me :: In other words you are indicating how "Islamic" is his family background.
Person :: Yes. You should find someone whose family has been in Islam for generations. Their belief are more deep-rooted and knowledge are more reliable.
Me :: If you are concerned about that then where do you place the reverts? Are you indicating they are less "Islamic" just because they don't have generations of "Islamic" lineage?
Person :: Not exactly but Malays have been living the Muslim way of life.
Me :: So have the Chinese Muslims.
Person :: But the culture is different.
Me :: I am learning about Islam, not the culture. Do you honestly have issues with this person's "Islamic" know-how or is it really his race?

Monday blues.
10.24am Malaysian Time

Thursday, July 29, 2010

.: Afterglow :.


Wings of your imagination.



Yesterday was one of those days where I sat on my desk, looked out of the windows and stared at the leaves and branches dancing gently to the soft whispers of the breeze. The sky was clear, and not a tint of gray was in sight. As I sat transfixed in my solitary moment of peace and tranquility, I heard the sound of pearl drops coming from the corner fountain. Other than that, there was nothing. No car honks, no bickering couples, no head-splitting rock music. All that was present was just nature at its best form; God’s gift to mankind.


If we can understand the language of the leaves, the branches, the breeze and even water …

Whatever are they saying …
11.30am Malaysian Time

Monday, July 26, 2010

.: Healing hearts :.


Anticipating Ramadhan.

There hasn't been any updates on the Fiqh An-Nisaa' class. Meanwhile, I've decided to continue with Arabic at
Al-Diwan after Eid, Insha'Allah.

Moving along, Ramadhan is 2 weeks away!!! *euphoria! euphoria! Alhamdulillah!* Hence I'm sharing a couple of Ramadhan-oriented programmes I came to know during the weekend. Please feel free to share these around.


  • Bengkel Ambang Ramadhan [The Coming of Ramadhan Workshop]
Date : July 31
Time : 9am - 4.30pm
Location : PERKIM Musolla, PERKIM, Jln Ipoh, KL.
Speakers : Ustaz Hj. Ahmad Dasuki Abdul Ghani, Ustaz Hj. Mohd. Farid Ravi Abdullah & Ustaz Kamaruddin Abdullah.

  • Fast 2 Feed
Organized by Muslim Aid Malaysia; spread the joy and blessings of iftar and Ramadhan by sponsoring an orphan.

RM30 sponsorship includes a meal, moreh and green packet for an orphan while RM50 sponsorship enables the sponsor to break fast with the orphan. Contact
Muslim Aid office at 03-22881996 for more info.
  • We are in this together : Muslim Youth & the Future
So I messed up at the very end. This has nothing to do with Ramadhan, but I just can't resist the itch to post. For more info, please visit the Facebook event page: MPF Youth Camp. I'm giving this a miss as I'm attending the workshop at PERKIM. Prolly will go for the next one.

Every bit of effort counts! :)
11.28am Malaysian Time

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

.: Racial Harmony Day :.


Who's Your Neighbor?


The only barriers we have are the ones we erect by ourselves.

Racial Harmony Day is a day for schools to reflect on, and celebrate Singapore as a harmonious nation and society built on a rich diversity of cultures and heritages.


- ~ -

The flu bug has safely landed on yours truly, so I'm working from home today. Despite the occasional sneezes and throbbing headache, I am taking this break to wish everyone "Happy Racial Harmony Day!".

Try celebrating racial harmony on a daily basis; regardless of your position and religious beliefs.

Unity in diversity.
9.14am Malaysian Time

Monday, July 19, 2010

.: Illustrating alleyways :.


Penning memoirs.


Calligraphic scroll by Mohamad Yusuf Chen Kun; Lanzhou China. 2001 AD/1421 AH.
Click to enlarge.

I tried to find Him on the Christian Cross, but He was not there; I went to the Temple of the Hindus and to the pagodas, but I could not find a trace of Him anywhere. I searched on the mountains and in the valley and across the deserts, but neither in the heights nor in the depths was I able to find Him. I went to the Kaaba in Mecca, but He was not there either. I questioned the scholars and the philosophers but He was beyond their understanding. I then looked into my heart and it was there where He dwelled that I saw Him; He is no where else to be found, for words are useless (specially sentences) and life defies definition.

Rumi

Bought this from the IIAM Museum Shop. Not sure whether they have anymore of it. With regards to the calligraphist, I found an article but it's written in Malay; Muhamad Yusuf Chen Kun, Penulis Khat Cina Yang Terkemuka [Muhamad Yusuf Chen Kun, Renowned Chinese Calligraphist]. Drop me an email if you want an English translation and I'll work something for you, Insha'Allah.

Beautiful Monday.
9.48am Malaysian Time

Friday, July 16, 2010

.: Hush-hush enigma :.


Evaporated.

There was a particular incident that happened not many months ago. I was in the LRT *subway* when a group of boisterous high school boys came in. They were joking in Chinese among themselves, and although I didn’t have the intention to eavesdrop, they were too loud! Hence any desperate efforts to block my ears were entirely nullified.


Throughout the 15mins journey I understood some of their jokes, but I had to bite my lips because people will undeniably think I’m insane if I started laughing hysterically by myself. Two stops away, one of the boys said;

“I think she understands our jokes” and looked straight at me.

At that juncture, it felt as if I had other eyes on me. As if I was suddenly awakened from a perpetual slumber, I knew it wasn’t just a feeling when his friends shifted their gaze to match his and they began talking about me. All I could do then was do an instant 180 degrees turn and implored to God; “What should I do?”

Intercom :: "Wangsa Maju. Wangsa Maju"

Saved! As soon as the LRT doors opened, I slipped through the throngs of commuters and dashed to the taxi station.

Sis :: What happened?
Me :: Biting didn’t help. My eyes were tearing up, and I couldn’t contain the chuckles. It’s like they have an unlimited supply of jokes! Maybe they already know that I can understand them, and they’re intentionally doing it. I feel so embarrassed!

I had forgotten about this incident but the story doesn’t end there.

The car was in the workshop so I had to take the LRT for the past 2 weeks. On one of those days, I was responding to a text in Chinese when I felt a towering figure behind me.

“I was right. 你还記得我吗?”

Literally shocked with his presence, I blasted this at him ... "吓死我了!!!".

Note :: “你还記得我吗?” means “Do you still remember me?"; "吓死我了!" means "Scared me to death!"

And he wasn't alone.
3.27pm Malaysian Time

Monday, July 12, 2010

.: Pavilion of dreams :.


At the International Islamic Arts Museum.


“Roam the Earth and observe how the creation was initiated. Thus God will establish the final creation. God is capable of all things.”

Surah Al-Ankabut verse 20















These photos were taken on my second trip to the International Islamic Arts Museum [IIAM]; specifically from the China, Qur'an & Manuscript, and Coins & Seals permanent exhibits. We came in a group, so we had a guided tour mixed with a hodgepodge of other activities. Apart from visiting the permanent exhibits, our itinerary included a visit to the "Behind the Scenes: Conservation in Focus" special exhibit and an introductory workshop to Arabic Calligraphy (Khat). Since our schedule was quite packed, I couldn't visit the special gallery which was held concurrently; "A Common Faith: Steve McCurry's Travels through the Muslim World".


The thing I love about going to IIAM is the extensive amount of Islamic artifacts they possess in their collection, and you can expect various special exhibitions. Additionally, it has a close proximity to Masjid Negara, the Islamic centre, the bird park and Lake gardens.

Insha'Allah I'll be going there again with another friend to visit the "Treasury of the World: Jewelled Arts of India in the Age of the Mughals" special exhibit to be held from July 31st until Dec. 30th. My friend has never been there before, thus we thought it'd be cool to spend an entire day there than hanging out at the shopping mall drinking bottomless coffee.

Definitely a good place to unwind.

11.43am Malaysian Time

Saturday, July 10, 2010

.: Versatile Salma :.


The Versatile Blogger Award.




Beloved Sister Salma from the Sole Sisters Collective has been sweet enough to bestow me with a blog award.






The conditions of this award are that:

1. The recipient must thank the bestower of the award.

Thank you so much love!. It's very kind of you to think of me in this sense. I always thought I write nonsense most of the time. :)

2. Share seven things about self.

1. I love food. *what's new?*
2. I love food photography. *To my FB friends; there's more to come!*
3. I'm trying to make it a habit to eat on time.
4. I'm reading a lot about India and Terengganu lately. *work-related*
5. I'm still learning Chinese; seriously taking my own sweet time.
6. Insha'Allah, my cousin and I will attend religious classes together.
7. I managed to curb my compulsive obsession to purchase books.

3. Bestow the award on 15 newly-discovered, or followed blogs.

I can't possibly choose 15, so I'm giving it to everyone in my 'Noteworthy Blogs' list.

And I just realized there's another award. Aahhh~~~ Silly, silly me!

There are two (2) rules for accepting this award.

1. I have to sum up my blogging philosophy, motivation, and experience in 5 words:

I suppose this blog is a space consisting of random thoughts for literary immortality.


2. I must pass on the award to 10 other amazing blogs.

Passing this to my 'Noteworthy Blogs' list. Everyone is amazing in their own way.

Thanks again Salma. :)
11.05am Malaysian Time

Friday, July 9, 2010

.: Luminary spectre :.


Enlightened.

Taken at the Wakaf Raja Abdul Aziz Ain Aziziyah,; Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Several months after I transferred to a school in Malaysia;
Me :: Dad, can I enroll in a religious school? Like after school, religious school?
Dad :: Sure, but is there any particular reason?
Me :: I didn’t know what the teacher was talking about. She mentioned ibadah, akhlak, aqidah and stuff. It’s as if she’s speaking in an alien language and I felt totally out of place.

3 years later;
Dad :: So you’re quitting religious school?
Me :: My grades are much better now, and knowing the basics is more than enough.

14 years later;
Dad :: Since when have you started to learn about Islam again?
Me :: Since coming home from Hajj.
Dad :: But nobody is grading you anymore. :)
Me :: ...

Awakening.
8.28pm Malaysian Time

Thursday, July 1, 2010

.: Fiqh An-Nisaa’ :.


Islamic jurisprudence
.

Several weeks ago I told a brother I wanted to learn about Islam. *weird huh?* He directed me to his alma mater, UIA (International Islamic University of Malaysia) and even suggested I take up the courses on a part-time basis. However, I'm not able to commit myself for a 3-4 years course due to current circumstances. *I have a highly unpredictable schedule*

Then he said, "Why don't you go the mosque? You can listen to the lectures plus sometimes they organize events and short courses." Sooner than later, I forgot about it. Until I went through the newspapers yesterday and noticed a small article about "Fiqh An-Nisaa'" to be held at the Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Mosque, UIA. Without further ado, I rang them up and pre-enrolled myself. Alhamdulillah, the first class starts next Friday, insha'Allah.

- ~ -

UIA was one of the universities I chose to further my studies in. One can hope and dream, but I ended up studying someplace else. *everybody has a sad story, don't they? coughs*

In those days, friends and family used to tell me stuff like,

"If you go to UIA, you have to wear the hijab and learn Arabic.",

and I thought,

"I can live with that. In fact, I should live with that, shouldn't I?"

Didn't expect it'd take me almost 10 years to step foot there although it takes less than 20 minutes worth of driving to reach from my house.

Alhamdulillah, nonetheless. :)
11.53am Malaysian Time

Monday, June 28, 2010

.: Uncovering uncertainties :.


Past the obscure depths hidden deep within our souls.

It was one of those days where I logged into QQ messenger to leave a message for my little brother. Surprisingly he was online so we decided to chat for a while. Moments later I told him I'll be back in 15mins because I wanted to do my prayers. That was when he asked ...



What is praying? Why do you pray?


In the past, I never query him about his religion although I have a feeling he doesn't have one. I didn't anticipate this so I was quite taken aback. His questions brought me to a certain memory. A friend asked those questions when I was in primary school. At that time, I was praying because my parents told me that God commands us to pray. I basically replicated that answer to my friend, but he wasn't satisfied with it. He wanted to know why God commands us to pray, and even if God commands us, why must we follow what God tells us to do.

I didn't like it when I said, "Because God tells us to do! End of discussion!". In the end,
I was terribly upset because I couldn't provide him with a satisfactory answer. But that dissatisfaction was nothing as compared to the amount of dissatisfaction I had towards my own self. So I began to ask myself, "Why do I pray?"

~

A few minutes later, I regained my composure and answered as so:

Praying is a part of my religion. It is a central part of my belief; that there is a supreme being known as God, and I pray to Him because I wish to speak to Him. To tell him about my worries, my hopes, my dreams, my sadness, my anger ... anything. Because of that, I can find inner peace, comfort and salvation. I feel relieved because I am able to let my feelings out, and I know God is always there for me so I also thank Him through my prayers.

Perhaps last week was the unofficial praying curiosity week, or my friends and I happened to go online during prayer times. Two other friends; both are atheists also asked the exact questions.

Note : My little brother is not related to me by blood.

感谢真主.
4.36pm Malaysian Time