Sunday, November 15, 2009

Faster and Faster and Faster

Last minute news is that I will be leaving Doha on the Monday 16th November which is like tomorrow! Or if you are reading this on Monday, it's today! 6p.m. Qtar time.

I am taking the bus in case you are wondering. I know I said I wanted to take the plane. But we decided to change to bus with the thought of their strict rules against expat on planes. Apparently they are not strict. The day we got the news of acceptance, all those who insisted on plane packages got their confirmation too. :P Ala kulli hal. Qadr Allah. I am grateful to be chosen in the first place.

So I am leaving tomorrow. My children are a bit disappointed. Especially Sya. She kept asking me why why why earlier.

"Oh Allah I leave my children in the care of people I trust. Place love in the hearts of people towards them and preserve and protect them."

Tomorrow eh? Suddenly I am feeling jittery and nervous and wondered if I know all that I need to know or not. Oh Allah make it easy for me.

I'll be back insya Allah on the 4th or 5th December.

Thus I am taking this opportunity to seek your forgiveness for my shortcomings that you may find in me be it in my actions and my words. In my comments or in my posts all these while. I pray that you find it in your heart to forgive me. Pray for my safe journey and health and strength. And I pray for an accepted hajj. Ameen.

Lastly, I leave you in the care of Allah for who nothing that is in his care is lost.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Woman's Strive

Pilgrimmage (Hajj)
Bukhari :: Book 2 :: Volume 26 :: Hadith 595

Narrated 'Aisha the mother of the faithful believers) said,
"O Allah's Apostle! We consider Jihad as the best deed." The Prophet said, "The best Jihad (for women) is Hajj Mabrur. "

Subhanallah. I understand from this hadith and the experience related by many of my friends, performing hajj will not be the easiest assignment for many people, what more a woman. I am anticipating hardship more than the usual. I am expecting tests imaginable and unimaginable.

And I ask Allah to bestow on me patience and perseverance. Patience has never been my best virtue. I ask Allah that I am also patient with my lover mostly. I pray that Allah will make it easy for me and my lover.

To add to this, I think all women go through emotional jihad. I am feeling very much so at the moment.

The other day I was going through Jack mengaji. He finished his Kursi, then I said to him, "When I am off for hajj, who will check your recitation?" And he replied just the way that we have planned, "Abang will check and help me with my memorisation (he is doing Al Fil now) and both sya and also abang will check my ngaji."

I smiled.

A minute later, he said his eyes hurt. One look at him, I know he was crying. Oh my dear boy. I pulled him close and he sobbed on my lap. And I naturally cried too. And there we were, hugging each other crying. Lover who was there listening to his Kursi just stood there not knowing what to say or do.

And today before Isyak, Sya cried hard. I know she has been emotionally down and I was sort of expecting it. Alhamdulillah all the boys in the house were out. So we had a mother daughter bonding time crying. Just the two of us.

I ask her to make dua for me. Allah is the one we turn to when we are sad and when we are happy. I am doing this for the sake of Allah. She nods. And have faith in Him. Allah will not forsake you. Be strong sayang. We hugged the hardest and moist each others' telekung.

Haziq is swallowing his responsibility as the eldest at the moment. I can see it in his face. he is drafting how best for him to check everyone's recitation when even he has his to finish. I have whispered to him how emotional Jack might become and both Sya and Jack will be needing him. Be there for them. And the three of you for each other. And NO SLEEPOVERS! You are not allowed to be separated.

The children know we are going. And they are all very excited for us. The last umrah trip was beneficial for them. We often talk about the beneficial of hajj. On why I must go. And all of them agree that it is just the best place to be. They sometimes listen to the hajj shows too. Even though Sya would go, must I watch this? :P And were awed at the amount of people at mudzalifah and jamrah. O Allah make it easy for me. I keep on repeating to them about arafah and the special time Allah gives to His wanting slaves. How Allah will boast about his slaves to the angels.

Today we discussed my schedule and my routes and what I will be doing. Haziq said we sound like we are going camping. With sleeping bags and small tent and lots of walking. He said he feels like going. :D I have printed maps, hajj routes, shared with them the schedule and are asked them to mark where I am and the corresponding dates on the maps. Print out a pictorial one page guide of hajj rites. Just so they have a feel.

Alhamdulillah Allah has made it easy for me. The Faths strongly volunteered to take care of the children. In his own strong words, "Don't send it to anyone else! Send them to us! We want the ajr too!". :P.

Allah sent this help in the midst of me thinking where to put the children back even before we went for umrahs. May Allah shower them abundant of hasanat on their family for their kindness and their generosity. I am tremendously grateful. It is not an easy thing to take care of other people's children in doha for the children go to different school. Mr Fath had to wake up earlier than usual to send them to school. Oh Allah give them goodness in this dunya and akhirah. Pardon their sins and elevate their status.

I am writing a will which will concern the care of the children and some wealth. This is equally e m o t i o n a l. Not the wealth part. The death part and everything else that concern the children.

I am planning also to write a letter to each of them (i am that dramatic)with pesanans. "Ittaqullah! Ittaqullah! ittaqullah my children" and some other pesanans that are applicable to them.

Oh Allah make my heart calm and make our hearts strong.

This is jihad for me.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Selesaikan Kisah Itu

When the season of hajj and umrah comes, the stories of one of the great prophets, Prophet Ibrahim a.s. will be retold. i think one will never get bored listening to the seerah, ever!

I remembered reading the seerah of Prophet Ibrahim a.s. left his wife Hajar and his young child, Prophet Ismail a.s. in the hot deserted desert of Makkah. I remembered reading the part that Hajar begged and begged and asked Prophet Ibrahim a.s. whether he is truly going to leave them there. In a place where are no trace of human. And they have no food with them. And story went on that she pleaded to him and pulled his shirt and cried that he does not go and asked him to reconsider.

As we all know, the story went on that Prophet Ibrahim a.s. left the two of them despite her pleadings. Then of course we know that they run out of food and Prophet Ismael was crying out of hunger, Hajar went running up Safa, went down, and went up Marwah and repeated the cycle seven times, until finally Allah sent an angel which scraped off the earth to allow spring of water, zamzam, to flow.

When I first read this version of the story, I felt uneasy. How can anyone just leave a weak woman and child like this? And of course other stories of Sarah's jealousy and all came in. I was torn in between, believing that all prophets are doing good and the message I understand from this story

Then Allah made me found this hadith,

Hajar asked Ibraheem calmly, "Has Allah commanded you to do this O Ibrahim?" Prophet Ibrahim a.s. said, "yes". And she responded, "Then Allah will not abandon us".
(Part of hadith Sahih Bukhari)

This was an extremely difficult situation: a man left his wife and infant son in a barren land, where there were no water and no people, and went back to the distant land of Palestine. he left nothing with her but a sack of dates and a skin filled with water.

If it were not due to the DEEP FAITH and TRUST in ALLAH that filled Hajar's heart, she would not have been able to cope with the difficult situation. Once she knew it was command from Allah, she had complete faith and obeyed. Can we have faith as strong as this?

Allah was preparing a reason to honour her like the ways she is honoured by million of muslims each year repeating the saei rite in umrah and hajj. Subhanallah. She became the woman who is remembered day and night (the holy city never sleeps) everytime one drinks the zam zam and going through saei, as Hajar did on one of her most tiring/ trying day. (partly quoted from the book Ideal Muslimah)

Really how can one have doubts on Prophet Ibrahim a.s.. One of the greatest Prophets who was given among the greatest tests. And we all know among his tests are his love to Allah and to his family. Prophet Ismael was his first and only son at the time and it was not an easy thing to do. He was tested to leave him at the desert and also later to sacrifice him.

After he left both Hajar and Ismail, he walked on without turning back until he reached Thanoya where they could not see him anymore. he faced the Kaabah and raise his hands, invoked Allah

"O our Lord! I have made some of my off spring to dwell in a valley with no cultivation by Your sacred House in order O our Lord, that they may offer prayers perfectly. Fill some hearts among men with love towards them and provide them with fruits so they may give thanks." Ibrahim 14:37

Which version makes you have more iman to the prophets, the Messengers sent by Allah who goes all the way to obey Allah's commands. Knowing that Allah's test are only for good. And a story to teach you to have tawakkul to Allah?

And which one keeps you wondering on the Prophet's maksum (they are protected from sins and are also reminded of them)?

My opinionlah kan, this part of the hadith must be told each time one narrates the story of Prophet Ibrahim a.s.. Insya Allah we can understand the strength of tawakkul. Understand Prophet Ibrahim's obedience to Allah and the sacrifices he made for His sake. Understand also that Allah does thing with His Wisdom and is preparing for greater goodness and honour.

Oh Allah make it easy for all of us to understand the deen.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Calling

My lover used to say many years ago, "I want to go to hajj before I am 40". And I used to answer, "Err before you 40 that would make me go before 37 years old. I am too young lah."

But time passed. Things change. Something happen. Skin sagged. Hips widened.

So, it was last year I decided to go to this hajj talk. The talk was meant for the last years' bakal hajj. At that time I have already felt the need to fulfill the fifth pillar.

So the speaker started off by asking the participant the meaning of talbiyah. I didn't know what the talbiyah means actually. I can recite them because it is always repeated on TV. I can recall it from my childhood memories. Anyway I think in the end someone read from the book, but the speaker reiterated it.

Aku menyahut panggilan-Mu ya Allah. Aku menyahut panggilan-Mu ya Allah dan tiada sekutu apapun bagi-Mu. Sesungguhnya puji, nikmat dan kekuasaan hanya bagi-Mu tanpa sekutu apapun bagi-Mu dan juga segala kekuasaan adalah milik Mu. Ya Allah aku menyahut panggilan-Mu. Tiada sekutu bagi Mu.

Here I am responding to You, O Allah, Here I am responding to You. Here I am, You have no partner, here I am responding to you. Verily all praise and blessings are Yours, and all sovereignty, You have no partner.

He got me at "menyahut panggilan Mu." I don't know how to tell you how I felt, but when I heard what it meant, I felt ashamed of my ignorance. I am ashamed that I have ignored God for the most part of my life. I felt small. But on the other hand I felt hope because I know that I can still respond to Him. I cried passionately that day, until someone passed me a tissue. :P. But because of that, I made a resolution that I want to go as soon as I can. Alhamdulillah. All praises goes to Allah for all the bounties that He has bestowed.

I wonder if lover remembers what he said about making hajj by 40. He is after all born in the year 69. Pray for us.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Sya the Bridesmaid

I think, after the bride and groom, Sya must be the one who is most excited about the wedding. Because she and her BFF were the bridesmaid of the day.

We bought the two girls a nice gold dress with black sash and big black flower on the right string. I really love the dress. It feels almost like the year 30s style.

And she get to put make up on, wear those flower thing on the head and basically be the most glamorous girl of the day.

sya Sya and DIna the bridesmaid

I don't have a better picture of them though. Since most of the good pictures have the bride in it. And look at Sya in the picture. With all the make up, mascara, headdress. Look at the way she sit? Tsk tsk tsk.

Well she enjoyed her day until the time comes to clean off her eye makeup. Hambik ko susuah nak hilang.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Waaahhh Kahwin Lagi!

This is my fourth year in D0ha. And already the third walimah that I am directly involved in. :D.

I don't know whether I should be amazed or gasped at the fact, I am already attending many of my friend's children's wedding. It used to be my friend is getting married or my parents friends' children wedding. Man they all grow so quickly. :P Including this I have attended five of them. May Allah bless their marriage.

So this is the third in this country that I also was the official photographer. :D

What's different about this wedding was, the bride wears the niqab. So it seems pretty logical that the photographer (for the bride) is a woman. Thus i am seeing a niche of this kind of services. I also have to be very sensitive to how I handle the pictures. I cannot ask lover's opinion on any of the pictures that has the bride in it. And I found a new liking on doing montages. It was tough not getting a second opinion. So I had to be self critical. But Alhamdulillah the bride (most important!) love the pictures and the montages.

In case you are wondering, the bride wears just like any normal bride would wear. And since this is a complete man and woman segregated wedding, the bride get to wear a really nice wedding dress and do her hair. Something that a even someone who is not wearing a niqab should not wear in front of her non mahram. (tight, transparent and all that). And the photographer get to wear her kebaya (yayyyy) and got her hijab off too. ;p.

I kinda like doing this segregated man and woman thing for weddings. It's melaram time without worry.

It's difficult for me to talk about taking photos but not display any photos in the entry. So I adjusted some pictures, taking out the bride pics and putting other pictures just so I can show something.

nikah montage non mahram

May Allah bless you (your spouse) and bless you and unite both of you in goodness.

Semoga Allah memberkatimu dan keatasmu dan menghimpunkan kamu berdua dalam kebaikan.

So tahun depan ada sesapa nak kahwin atau kahwinkan anak tak? :D