Monday, February 25, 2013

Get the Children to remember Allah Too

Are you among those who get to spend rush time with your kids in the morning? And also in the evening? Among those who get to send the kids to school? Or maybe has a short idle time with them in the midst of the rush hour? If you are, then you are the lucky fews may I suggest that you spend this time to teach them to remember Allah. That is making dzikir.

I cannot stress more on making dzikir particularly in the morning and evening. Subhanallah there is so much benefit in it. Reward. As a protection. A du'a. And Allah knows what other benefits He will give.

When i was younger, I was given the du'a mathurat. Coupled with jahil and laziness, I fellt that it was overwhelmingly too much and boring. Of course it was. I didn't know what i was reading. It was overwhelmingly ALOT! And reading is not making du'a. It is just reading.

Starting early, undoubtedly makes it a habit harder to break, Insya Allah.

First of all, may I suggest you turn off the radio for a while. Everything else is lesser a priority than remembrance of Allah. To tell you the truth, it was hard for me. But try disciplining yourself. Make the dzikir first. perhaps after a while, music even nasyid on radio will become noise. Ameen.

Break into small doable chunks. Try doing the three quls first. Three times. Do it together at first to encourage them. If the kids have not memorised it yet, do a separate exercise as well. But have a practice in the morning. Do this as much as you can everyday until it has become a part of you and them. It may take some time or it may not.

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‘Abdullah Ibn Khubaib said: ‘The Messenger of Allaah (S) said to me ‘Recite!’ I replied ‘O Messenger of Allaah, what shall I recite?’ he said ‘Recite:
…in the evening and the morning three times for it will suffice you of all else.’

When all are comfortable, add ayatul Kursi. I find many kids do not know ayatul Kursi. At least in the Kafa class I am doing. If they have not. Have a separate exercise for this. Ayat Kursi is important. meanwhile practise it before sleeping and you read out loud in the morning. The repetition will help them Insya Allah.

Again, do this every morning together until they are independent. When they are, tell them to read quietly (not in the heart though) on their own. Once in while spot check on them. Sometimes their ayat kursi goes everywhere. He he.

Now you may have the three quls and ayat kursi. For myself I would prefer to the the dzikir "lailaha illallah 100 x, subhanallah.. 100X, astaghfirullah 100x but maybe it's a overwhelming for the kids. If not go ahead.

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None has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, alone, without partner, to Him belongs all sovereignty and praise, and He is over all things omnipotent.’ (one hundred times every day)

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‘How perfect Allaah is and I praise Him.’ (one hundred times)
Otherwise start with the small easy du'a for them to memorise. I would choose a short one to build their confidence. Like this one for example.

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I am pleased with Allaah as a Lord, and Islaam as a religion and Muhammad as a Prophet.’ (three times)

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‘O Allaah, grant my body health, O Allaah, grant my hearing health, O Allaah, grant my sight health. None has the right to be worshipped except You.’ (three times)
‘O Allaah, I take refuge with You from disbelief and poverty, and I take refuge with You from the punishment of the grave. None has the right to be worshipped except You.’ (three times)

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‘Allaah is Sufficient for me, none has the right to be worshipped except Him, upon Him I rely and He is Lord of the exalted throne.’ (seven times morning and evening)

You can check out some part of the Fortress of Muslim HERE. Go over the meaning and only move on when they are fairly good at it.

May Allah accept our deeds and May Allah make the earth as our witness. Imagine in Yaumul Akhirah when the earth will be allowed to speak and inform what has been going around her. Imagine the stones, the trees, the sand, the plastic (petroleum is from earth kan?) in your car speak for you and on your side. ya Rabb we are in need of your mercy.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Flowers are Brighter on the Other Side

We were told by our compound guard that they had bouganvilla planted in all houses. But ours didn't have this colourful easy to maintain flowers. Instead we had bushy, half dried creeping jasmines. Of course, if this country is autumn with pleasant sun, creeping jasmine on the wall would be nice. Alas, the summer is cruel, it wilts the fragile leaves and flowers. So i pulled out all the jasmines and planted a few bouganvilla around the wall. Personally, I think, this is the easiest plant to grow in this country. Very little maintenance except watering, fertilsing and pruning. And yet, under the hot sun, it blossom to bright colour flowers. The climbing one has the most beautiful effect. It's climbing very slowly though. I planted it last November. It's quite a tall wall to climb.

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Look it's peeking out from the wall now, exclaiming, Freedom! Tee he he

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Only one for now though because this one had a headstart compared to the rest of the bouganvilla. In November it was already at half the wall. It takes about three months to climb the next half of the wall.

And these are my neighbours'. Masya Allah!

Subhanallah. It's really nice to have all the neighbours who love flowers as well. Alhamdulillah I get to enjoy the colours everyday.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Practicing Du'a

Sometimes despite learning a particular du'a or a surah that you know is a sunnah to be read at certain time, we become slack in practicing it. Now and then, we are reminded, then we practice it, at some other time we leave it. Now that I don't really spend my time with the kids before sleeping, i have to remind them about the three quls and all that. But I myself slack in reading the Baqarah and al Mulk each night. :\ I would usually be the one to wake the kids up in the morning. And because Jack is the baby, I do spend a bit of time waking him up. Usually this is what I do, call everyone. Shake Haziq. Knock on Sy'a door loudly (she is always locking the door) then call jack's name last. After a while I would call Jack again until finally I will sit on his bed. When he is halfway waking up, I would say to him, "Jack Alhamdulillah..?" to prompt him to continue. If he doesn't respond, I will repeat until he does continue Alhamdulillahilladzi ahyana ba'dama amatana wa ilahin nushur.
 photo wakingup_zpsfdca14a5.gif All praise is for Allaah who gave us life after having taken it from us and unto Him is the Resurrection
Eyes still closed. But baby voice tu yang mahal tu. Then I will ask him to get up properly. Try it. perhaps it is one way that we will be istiqamah in reading our daily du'a and help the children to start their day with good words too. Insya Allah.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Who is this guy?

Among the places I went to in Jordan was Wadi rum. It is known as among the best sanddunes in the world - world class. Especially made famous from the movie Lawrence of Arabia.

The magnificent red sand is not disappointing. Huge red rock as tall as ten story building, red sand, natural ancient trade path and natural springs in between the rock.

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the wobbled car photo DSC_0199_zps908c61ee.jpg
 photo DSC_0230_zpseacde532.jpg red sand photo DSC_0221_zpsa690d7a5.jpg
standing on the rocks of wadi rum photo DSC_0233_zps8ae9bbac.jpg
However, it was more than all these beautiful sights that intrigued me. The name T.H. Lawrence kept popping up whenever I read up about Wadi Rum. Who is this person? He is a white man from Britain (16 August 1888—19 May 1935). Stayed in the desert for sometime. Started off as an archeologist in the middle east and underwent training with the British military and was sent as a military officer in the middle east.

From learning about Wadi Rum, I came to learn about Arab Revolt. I do not know much about history  and I am still trying to piece things together. So what I write here may be inaccurate. However I wish to ask you to think about it with me. Perhaps Allah will open up our understanding of things.

For a simple reading of what Arab Revolt is about, read the wikipedia writeup HERE.

For 600 years Islam was under the ruling of the Ottoman. It was a large power to be reckon with. One ruling under the banner of Islam. Sadly at the end on the 19th century, things begin to brew within this empire. Was it excessiveness? hedonism? But the younger generation we already looking into this idea of secularism.

Coupled with that, at the beginning of the 20th century, new ideas were emerging in the Arab world - nationalism. Ideas were spreading that they were not able to see that being under one strong force is better than breaking up and become a solo individual. Nationalism caused them to see, that the Turks are ruling us the Arabs. Its not about living under one islam banner. This idea is flamed up by certain parties eyeing for power for themselves.

All these seem to be at the right place and the right time - easy loophole for the west to come in the picture. They sent in their man - someone who can be trusted - among them T.H. lawrence whose main work is to ensure the nationalism spirit is well fuelled.

Paid the bedouins in gold, providing ample funds and arms for the rebels, in the end they managed to destroy the great empire. And thus it's so easy to divide the arab nations. And here I am wondering what is Qtar celebrating their independence from. Free from the Khalifate and into nationalism.

This division makes everyone individualistic. Just about 30 years later, Israel was formed with brutal killing of the Palestines. Along the road, most of North africa nations are ruled by dictators. Ahundred years later, you see Syria as it is now, not before she is already ruled by cruel family rulers. Yemen is never at peace. Sure we have the few rich ones - Qtar, UAE, Saudi - but what happen to the brothers?

Where is their initial dream of big arab nation? Supposedly, it should be one big nation from Syria allt he way to yemen. One big happy arab family. The countries remain among the most backward despite having so much oil and natural resources. Ya Rabb.

When I came here, I have always wondered, why is this country getting independence from the British? When did the British rule them? And if so why is this country  not under commonwealth countries like all other colonised nations? Remember teh national quiz I took part in, read HERE, I had to read the history which was told in a different light of course. But yeah, this was among the country which freed herself from being in the banner of the Khalifah, and the one who revolted is hailed as a hero in the modern arab history.

Then again we are reminded of this hadith

Hudhayfah son of Al-Yaman reported that the Messenger of Allah sallalluhu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "Prophethood (meaning himself) will remain with you for as long as Allah wills it to remain, then Allah will raise it up whenever he wills to raise it up. Afterwards, there will be a Caliphate that follows the guidance of Prophethood remaining with you for as long as Allah wills it to remain. Then, he will raise it up whenever He wills to raise it up. Afterwards, there will be a reign of oppressive (The reign of Muslim kings who are partially unjust) rule and it will remain with you for as long as Allah wills it to remain. Then, there will be a reign of tyrannical rule and it will remain for as long as Allah wills it to remain. Then, Allah will raise it up whenever He wills to raise it up. Then, there will be a Caliphate that follows the guidance of Prophethood." Then Hudhayfah said, "The Prophet stopped speaking." (As-Sililah As Sahihah)

If these countries do not come together again under one banner, if the love of individual wealth is the top priority, then we will continue to be the weak individual country as what we are now.

To tell you the truth, I am appalled at the fact that J0rdan hailed this lawrence guy as if he was a hero of some sort. Going to J0rdan made me feel even sad at our already sorry state. Ya Rabb guide us.

Some opinion on Arab revolt with insertion of clips from the movie L@wrence of the Arabia.

The fall of the Ottoman empire

Qadr Allah, this was all inevitable. The Turks themselves were playing the nationalism game and began to impose their language and customs to people. We have now become exactly the opposite of what Islam has taught and we are paying the price for it.

Thursday, February 07, 2013


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We took the horse to climb up the mountains of Petra. They told us this is the same route as Indiana Jones took in the film The Last crusade. We took the ride because it looked adventurous and also we were trying to save time.

Anyway if you can notice in the picture, there are some black water hoses on the ground. This is what they have resort to, to water the whatever plants that are left in this area. I read how water is already a problem in Ustaz SaifulIslam's Travellog - "Rindu bau pohon tin". According to him, he was advised to take little shower let alone wash up. That was back in 1992. And I heard it's getting worse.

Water Channels in Petra photo 734660_10151163134096010_531148017_n_zps9b1f4a0a.jpgIt is amazing that water is a problem because they have river, they have mountain, they have oasis. In fact Petra, for example, was chosen to be the location of a civilisation among many reason was access to water. They had water channel to channel it to residential areas around the city. They diverted big flood from the siq to a reservoir so that it will not flood the city and their temple. (Left is water channel in Petra)

The Dead Sea, for example is also dying. The water from different rivers in Jordan is drying up, either naturally or being diverted to farms and residential areas. The oasis in the north is also drying up.
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A replica of a mosaic map in Madaba. You can see the Jordan river depicted there going into dead Sea with fish scampering away from the lethal water

This was the country that was thriving with civilisation after civilisation. Nearly all great civilisation around the vicinity wanted this land and the surroundings. All the ruins I went to, there are evidence of water management- water channel, open cisterns ducts and other means.
Open Cistern in Citadel Amman photo DSC_0552_zps3ec3c5e0.jpg
Cistern diagram in Citadel Amman

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Left : From what is left from a river near Petra.

Some of the hotels that I went to (which was not of many stars rating) has very little water.

As we drive along Jordan, we saw many big pipes and water hoses along the road. A major desalination project all the way from Aqaba will be supplying water to Jordan.

The thing about desalination is the effects in the long run. They will have to spill the hot waste back into the ocean and it will destroy the marine life. In a long run, their thriving diving tourism will be affected. It will also affect the water and its evaporation into rain. It will give an illusion that you have so much water because the sea is there to exploit but will probably leave nothing for the next coming generation.

Allah Mustaan.

Sure Jordan has rain. In fact after I left the country was snowing and rain and flood follows. Ya Allah may we will be bestowed with rain that is beneficial. Don't we hear nowadays, so much rain and yet no water? Ya Rabb bestow mercy on us.

This trip made me reflect upon what we have. Our green country with abundant rain. Do we think this will last forever. Looking at past generations, we will learn and must take heed that Allah can take all of these away. look at rub al Khali, the vast desert which, they say, use to thrive with streams and gardens. look at these past civilisation. Where are the resources?

I reflect upon Qatar, a country with no water resource of whatsoever. A country that uses desalination plant as their stream and lake but yet has the highest water consumption per person in the world! Allahu Akbar. I feel afraid that Allah will take away when we are in excessive, when we do not care and when we do not show gratitude.

And throughout this journey I cannot help but to reflect on the last verse of Surah Al Mulk

67: 30
Tell me! If (all) your water were to sink away, who then can supply you with flowing (spring) water?"
And also from Surah Nuh

71: 11-13

"I said (to them): 'Ask forgiveness from your Lord; Verily, He is Oft-Forgiving; (10) 'He will send rain to you in abundance; (11) 'And give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers.' " (12) What is the matter with you, that [you fear not Allâh (His punishment), and] you hope not for reward (from Allâh or you believe not in His Oneness).  

Monday, February 04, 2013

The Children and the Quran

When I first had Haziq, I was ever determined that I will be the first to teach him the Quran. I wanted to be his first teacher. I wasn't a teacher material but Alhamdulillah, along the journey I had an easy opportunity to learn to read the Quran with tajweed.

Back then my determination was probably because I myself was taught by my mother, may Allah make this as light for her and forgive her sins. So I have always thought, it is natural for a mother to do so. Coupled with I-want-to-do-everything-myself-attitude, I made sure the class go on every week days.

Alhamdulillah I am still trying to teach the children the Quran. We are slowly doing memorisation of the words of Allah. However, I have also decided that come the right time, I will send them to others which obviously are more knowledgeable and Insya Allah will fine tune the children in their hifz.

Anyway, as I have mentioned sporadically in previous post, starting last summer, I felt that Sya is already ready and should go to a group class. Alhamdulillah we found one - for girls only. A small informal one where most of the girls are her friends who are also into Quran. They had quiz day last week where they are put in teams of two and compete with each other. Sya didn't win the overall quiz but I know she did well, Masya Allah, Tabarakallah.

And Sya can stand on her own. She looked confident with her answers. The spirit of the girls in the class encouraged her to push herself. In that sense, I felt that she has blossomed and I am proud of her. I am glad I made the decision to send her there. Such testing task I have to say, the distance and the traffic. Ya Allah..

I pray that Allah will open the doors for all of us for Quran. And the Quran that we read and we memorised will be for us and not against us.


Did I tell you also sitting down listening to them also help me with my own Quran. It's part of my Quran revision. So I haven't let go of them even though they are doing it with others. he he. Selfish sikit maaaa.


I would like to share with you a video. The video shows two boys who cried. The former because his football team lost and the latter is because he finally finished his Quran memorisation.  I am actually not in favour of the first part of the video because I personally I do not like to make comparison like this and plus you can see the boy's face. I don't like that. Also there is nothing wrong with football except that too much love in it is wasteful of emotion and heart space.

But please look at the message of the sweetness of completing memorisation Quran. ya Allah. The boy was already having a hard time reading from suratun Nasr because he knows in a few more surah will mark the end of his memrosising throughput the Quran. And that requires a big sacrifice and hard work.

May Allah allow us to live long to see this for ourselves first and to our children. Ya Rabb.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Al Bitra

Zachary was reading about Prophet Salleh and his peole - Thamud. In the book there is a picture of Madain Saleh which is in Saudi Arabis, the said place where Thamud used to live. Ibu, Zachary said, is Madain Saleh in  Petra? The similarity is striking. Picture : The book Zachary is reading. The Story of Saleh, written and illustrated by Moazzam Zaman, Darussalam

There is so much mystery surrounding Petra. The historians  the archeologists were always trying to piece up theories to why Petra was built and why was there so lack of information concerning it even though the ruins were such a spectacular one.

I won't be offering you one though because I wouldn't know any better.

Their amazing carving of the red rocks would always remind me of the Thamuds. There is a hadith that The Muslim army who were marching towards Tabuk, stopped at the dwellings of the Thamuds when prophet sallallahu alaihi wasalam reprimanded them and prohibited them from taking water from the cursed place. The most possible site for the Thamud dwellings would be at Mada'in Saleh. I didn't go there just because...

And you couldn't help to wonder the similarity of style at these two places. Historians say that the Madain Saleh is an extension of Petra. But then some say Thamud and nabateans are different race. Nabateans are said to be thriving in the year above AD30. If Madain Saleh is an extension of them, then would that make Madain Saleh the dwellings of the Thamuds since there is no prophet in between Isa and Muhammad, so it is not possible that Prophet Saleh is sent there.

Some Muslim historians/ archeologists say that Madain Saleh is not the dwelling of the Thamuds and Prophet Saleh. In fact the Hajar (stone) is somewhere else. Allah knows best.

One man even say that Petra was the original qiblah of the Muslims and not Jurusalem. Which I personally find it strange because at the dwellings of Petra itself they found a drawing of god for them was a cuboid shape. It is very possible that they themselves worship the Kaabah like most arabs at that time. Probably the reminiscence of Abraham teachings.  Of course they completely forgot about worshiping the Lord of the house altogether.

Anyway, the Nabateans later worship different god that they picked up from their travel. So there are pictures of probably Zeus, Isis and I do not know what else.

Their big city also incorporates a sacrificial place where they slaughter animals to offer the god. Making this place creepy in my opinion.

This is a place where once upon a time live a group of people who were made rich and prosperous but were far from The Creator, the One who gives Rizq. They were displaced and became invisible in history without a trace.

Allah knows best the people that are on earth, the one whom He displaced and the One whom will replace.

In the current day, I wake up early in the morning I can hear adzan from different masjids declaring the oneness of Allah. Jordan now is not like Jordan in those years and the history on how this happen comes with sweat, blood and sacrifice.

That many of us take granted for the ni'mah

On the other hand, Jordan now is also not like Jordan in the days of the glories.

View of the Petra vityfrom the hill photo DSC_0089_zpscc1bb9e8.jpg

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a documentary of Petra that may interest you.