Sunday, October 11, 2020

.: Reclaim Your Life :.


The book 'Reclaim Your Heart' by Yasmin Mogahed sits on my table. It has been there for days, weeks at stretch. Left untouched, just seen from a distance.

Why haven't I read it? I left it there with the intention to peruse through the pages. To gather the gems. To harness the profound meaning behind every sentence, every page. 

Yet, it stays there. The only thing that touches the book is dust. 

Many things had happened in the last few months. Life-changing events. Moments where I never thought I would ever experience. Times when I felt like no words can ever express the inner turmoil. 

And there were times. Times when I felt like the impossible kept happening. That there's always hope. There's always somebody looking after me. Someone who always has my back. Someone who stops me from sinking deeper. Someone, that someone,  is ever persistent in protecting me. 




And as I learn to crawl back into my life. To resume some kind of normalcy. 

As I look for ways to reclaim a better version of myself, I stumbled upon Yasmin Mogahed's book and kept it on the table for as long as I can remember.


Not because I am afraid. Rather, I want to learn how to walk. I want to run again. 

From Him.

And I want to learn to reclaim my heart through His book.

May Allah ease, ameen.

7.41pm, Malaysian Time

Saturday, August 1, 2020

. : Eid Adha 2020 :.

Hold Tightly to His rope. 

As'salaamualaikum. Has been a while since I last updated this blog. So much have happened for the past few months, yet the heart is thankful for the countless blessings that came with it. 

Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah. All praises to Allah SWT for everything. 

Having said that, I'd like to take this opportunity to say Taqabbal Allahu Minna Wa Minkum and a happy Eid to everyone who reads this blog. 

May Allah SWT bless you with everything that is good in this life and the hereafter, ameen!

Remembering Hajj. 

9.55am, Malaysia Time

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

.: Flee To Allah :.

Feeling lost.

With the recent announcement of restrictions in Malaysia, I can't help but feel overwhelmed. At the moment of writing, I am trembling, shivering. Perhaps it's my anxiety kicking in.

Rather than allowing it to overcome me, I think this would be the right time to say this would be the perfect time for all of us to band together and come out stronger than ever.

This is the time to flee to Allah.

It saddens me that mosques are closed for the next 2 weeks or so.
It saddens me that we are not able to perform umrah.
It saddens me that the numbers of those infected are increasing.
It saddens me that the medical staff are overworked.
And it saddens me that life, has become less than normal.

Am I scared?

Yes. In fact, I am struggling. 

But am I optimistic we can overcome this?

Yes. Because I believe Allah is there. Allah is All Hearing. Allah is All Seeing. And Allah is the only one who can take the sickness away.

This is not the time to fear the sickness.

This is the time for us to flee to Allah. 

To make doa to Him. To ask for His mercy, help and forgiveness. Ask Him for strength and patience. Ask Him for things to become better by the day. Whatever that crosses your mind, just ask it from Him. 

This is the time for us to remind each other about Allah. That He is in control of everything and He is the best of planners. Pray more. Recite more Quran. Make more salawat. 

This is the time for us to look at ourselves and see what we can do to make things better. Look out for our family,friends, neighbours, and community. Give donations to ease the burden of those affected by this sickness. Avoid crowded places. Stop mass gatherings. Always wash our hands with soap and water. Focus on good hygiene. Maintain your distance. And assure others that things will insha'Allah,eventually get better. 

This is not the time to panic. Not the time for victim blaming. Not the time to find fault with others.  

This is the time to flee to Allah.

Even if you are not a Muslim, just do your best to make the situation better. Help to reduce the spread. Get tested if you feel unwell. Stay positive.

May Allah take the sickness away and heal those who are infected by it, ameen.

8.35am, Malaysian Time

Friday, August 2, 2019

.: القطط في المسجد :.

Kittens in the masjid.

"I know pretty much what I like and dislike; but please, don’t ask me who I am." 
Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

Found these two at the entrance of Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Mosque. They were sound asleep and their mother was nowhere in sight. Minutes after this shot was taken, they were woken up by a couple of kids, who happily picked them up and started cuddling them. 

Their purrs. Their playfulness. Their incredibly lovable nature.

Sums up my daily dose of happiness.

7.16pm, Malaysian Time

Sunday, May 19, 2019

.: Hiraeth :.

The nostalgia.

• Hiraethn. a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past

A best friend. Some of us have one. Some of us have none. Until now, I still remember those who I regarded as my best friends. The earliest memory I had was in primary school. We were in the same class for three years and four months. We drifted apart after both of us transferred to other schools. Each time I return to Singapore, I cannot help but wonder whether I would ever bump into my long lost best friend. Would we recognise one another?

Years went by and I entered my late 20s. During that time I got acquainted with someone, whose character reminded me of my long lost best friend. We clicked. The connection was surreal. Yet, all of a sudden, the friendship came to a halt. The correspondences stopped. I had no means of reaching out. All forms of communication were entirely shut down. 

And just like that, I carried that pain of losing another best friend. The grief was unbearable. Just like my long lost primary school best friend, I too start to think, what are the odds of me bumping into my late 20s best friend when I am in Singapore? 

Wanting things to return to the way they were seems impossible. The constant what ifs, only prove to cause more damage to the self being. So I move forward, and learn to come into terms with things.

There are still times when I will remember both of my long lost best friends. And those deja vu moments can be too real at times. Yet I choose to take things positively and cherish the memories. If I had not known them, I may not have turned out the way I am now. 

To my long lost primary school best friend;

I hope and pray you are doing well. You were one of the brightest students then and I knew you had it in you to carve a meaningful future. Wherever you are, keep being the helpful and ever considerate person that you are. You were a blessing to me then, and I truly believe you are still a blessing to those who are around you now.

Woodlands Primary School.

To my long lost 20s best friend;

I know you used to read my blog occasionally. If you still do, and you would like to reconnect, you know you can always contact me. I too hope and pray you are doing well. I always think highly of you and I respect you for your wisdom. You had been and is still an inspiration for me to continuously improve myself intellectually. If I ever did anything wrong, I humbly ask you to forgive me. 


The long lost past.
9.29am, Malaysian Time

Monday, April 29, 2019

.: Ramadan 2019 :.

Almost there.

The scars that you can't see are the hardest to heal. 
Nao Tomori

Three. Two. One.
11.07am, Malaysian Time 

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

.: Al-Amin Xinjiang Muslim Restaurant :.

Where food meets pleasure.

This will be a biased yet genuinely straight from the heart post. 

K's friend, Brother Bao, is the owner and chef of Al-Amin Xinjiang Muslim Restaurant. The restaurant specializes in Xinjiang-style cuisine, so unlike regular Chinese Muslim restaurants, Brother Bao churns out the most amazing dishes, with Middle Eastern and Chinese influences.

While I do not usually write reviews, I am making this an exception. Mainly because Brother Bao has a delightful personality and despite how busy he is, he always makes time to chat with us each time we come to his restaurant. 

Brother Bao's restaurant has over 30 types of dishes and beverages. 

Here are our top 3 favourites:

Xinjiang Kao Bao

Looks familiar? We sell these at Kaijia too! But we still love the ones sold by Brother Bao. His are generously filled with mutton and onions.

Fried Noodles

K loves this dish to bits that he orders it at almost every visit! The noodles are quite spicy and not heavily drenched in oil. 

Da Pan Ji

Also known as Big Plate Chicken, this bite-sized chicken dish is cooked with a variety of vegetables. Order a side of rice, noodles or bread to go along with it.

Bonus: Niangpi

Once upon a time, we sold these at Kaijia too. These days, whenever we feel like walking down the memory lane, we would order this to share.

Does the restaurant tick all the right boxes?

Tasty dishes? Yes!
Wide variety? Yes!
Reasonable price? Yes!
Generous portions? Yes!
Comfortable setting? Yes!

And they even have a surau. No excuse for missing your prayers!

The only downside? 

Finding a parking spot can be challenging, though that should not deter you from ever going there. The food and ambiance are well worth it.

Restaurant details:

Address: No.20 Jalan 19/3, Seksyen 19, 46400, Petaling Jaya
Opens daily: 12PM - 9PM (Fridays, 3PM - 9PM)
Phone number: 010-566 4012

Getting hungry.
9.09pm, Malaysian Time