Saturday, 19 July 2014

MH17 - Another Awful Tragedy

Tragedy struck an airlines close to the heart of Malaysians yet again on Thursday night. MH17 was shot down by perpetrators still unconfirmed by media and authorities. All on board did not survive the crash. Inna llilahi wainna ilayhi rajioon. My deepest sympathies to every victim plus the families and friends of those affected.

Just 5 months ago, our country mourned over the disappearance of MH370. Many lives were affected. Malaysians of all religions came together in hope and prayer. Friends and family members close to me who didn't even have friends and family on board that flight shed tears because although we knew none of those affected, we knew how it felt to lose someone you love.

You don't need to share the same ethnicity, religion or nationality as someone to feel their pain; you just need to have a HEART. Calamities can strike one's life at any given hour and I'm a firm believer of fate and I trust God's will. It's what keeps me positive and moving forward in life.

On Friday, Mufti Menk gave a talk at TTDI's local mosque and he touched the subject of calamities in light of MH17 and how Muslims should react to it. I have the highest degree of respect for Mufti Menk because he always speaks with such wisdom and positivity.

We live in a world where it's becoming so UNSAFE. Wars and conflicts are abundant and to what avail? How much destruction and loss of lives can we take before enough is enough? I'm not one who even likes arguments, let alone something as catastrophic as war. In this month of Ramadan, I urge everyone to not just pray for peace in this world but BE the change they want to see.

Be a kind soul. Achieving world peace begins within the hearts of every single individual on earth. The earth we live on now is borrowed and one day we will return it. To whom you may ask? The future generation. Our children. Please, let's leave behind a better world for them.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Ramadan Kareem 2014

After a day of fasting, Muslims be like:
Sprint always acts as if she's had a long day. Silly cats.
Seriously, don't you feel soooo lifeless at the end of the day? I can go about my day without much of a problem but by golly do I get exhausted. But, Ramadan is a test of patience and gratitude. A lot of us are very blessed that we can break our fast with a hearty meal. There are many out there who do not have the privilege. I always feel that what we do during Ramadan shouldn't be exclusive to just this Holy Month. As Muslims, we are required to BE charitable always. Charity doesn't have to be a crazy amount out. It can be whatever change you've left in your pockets, a bag of old clothes or a helping hand. I think the essence of Ramadan should be something instilled in us throughout the rest of the year. 

Ramadan Kareem. Have a blessed Holy Month.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Fated friendships

Last weekend, I attended the Divine Speech talk by Nouman Ali Khan, founder of Bayyinah Institute, at Putrajaya. It was an uplifting weekend to say the least but that aside, I finally got to meet this lovely lady right here:
We've technically known each other for years but never got to meet. At the age of 18, I stumbled upon her blog and I just loved the things she wrote about. From her writings I could tell she was a lovely and intelligent person, MasyaAllah.

Besides her love for Islam, she was like any other girl; she loves photography, fashion, makeup and of course, taking selfies. This bubbly intellectual also graduated with First Class Honours in Communication Studies. 

While I was studying in UK, she was studying in New Zealand. At one point last year both of us returned home to Malaysia and we've been planning to meet over lunch but due to my unpredictable schedule, whenever she was free, I'd be away from the city. 

A couple weeks back, I asked her if she was going for the talk by Nouman Ali Khan. She said her sister was but it was too late for her to purchase tickets but luckily, I had an extra ticket. And so instead of meeting at some restaurant, our first date was at the mosque on a Friday night. Isn't that perfect?

I'm a few years younger than Sha (but you can't tell cos she looks so young) so she treats me like a little sister. Since I don't have an older sister it feels kinda nice to have a protective sister around that I can learn from.

My best friend Sya was also with me last weekend. Both of them have the same first names!
I've another story to share. Back when I was 18 (and was still a huge fan of her blog), I was so unsatisfied with how I looked. I was chubbier, didn't know how to dress fashionably and had dull skin due to many years of playing sports outdoors.

I remembered looking through ShaEl's blog and being in awe of how pretty she was! I recall asking her for beauty tips and she told me a secret which I still remember till this day: "Girls get prettier as they get older."

Because of her, I really looked forward to hitting my 20s. And true enough, I did get out of my awkward phase and my face and body changed as I entered early adulthood. 

So now whenever my younger sister or any other teen complains to me about their looks, I just tell them that they'll inevitably get prettier and become more comfortable with how they look as they get older. I promise! Until then, just prioritise your education. :)

Show Sha some love over at her *blog*

Monday, 23 June 2014

First man I ever loved

They say the first man you ever love is your father and the kind of relationship you've with him determines the kind of relationship you'll have with other men in the future. Apparently, it influences the kind of qualities you look for in another man due to the qualities your father has or lacks in.

I'm unable to tell you to which extent this is true because I'm not a psychologist, psychoanalyst or some love guru but I can tell you this... I've a great bond with my father and Alhamdullilah, my grandfather, too.

Together, these 2 men have showed me a GREAT deal of how men should be. How men should treat women, how they should treat their wives and daughters. I often find it surreal and saddening that in some societies, daughters aren't valued by their fathers (controversial issue, won't elaborate).

My father is not a man of many words. He's quiet but everyone who's known him for years will tell me how he's a very NICE guy. My late grandmother used to tell my mum how she's so lucky to have him as a husband and seeing how there are some men out there who don't treat their wives well, I fully agree with her.
I recall once when I was a teen, I came home saddened by some things at school and after seeing me upset, my father decided to get me durian pancakes. I love durian but my father HATES them. He can't stand the smell or the taste of it. So for him to get in his car, go to a shop to purchase something he hates and return home to place it next to his sobbing daughter... that's love.

Through the relationship I've with both my parents, I've learnt a lot about what love is. Real love is rarely expressed in the words you say but in the little things that you do. I owe a LOT to my parents for the love they've showed my siblings and I because without them, I wouldn't be the person that I am today.

People who get to know me often tell me that I'm very independent. I don't rely on anyone for anything, even for emotional stability which I think is important. No one can provide you with happiness other than yourself and at this point in my life I can safely say I feel very complete. Alhamdullilah.

I don't feel the need to put my happiness or worth in the hands of another person, material gains or achievements. I'm a very content person and I'm looking forward to discovering the world, seeking knowledge and improving myself as a person throughout my life. 

So a message to fathers with daughters: 

To my father, thank you for treating your 2 daughters wonderfully. Only Allah can ever repay you for your deeds. But to other fathers, or men who's going to be a father, all the quality time you spend with your daughter(s) will pay off because the strongest force that pushes a person to become great is love.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Next journal

I just love being able to move on to the next journal.
It's satisfying being able to literally close one chapter of your life in the palm of your hands and move on to the next chapter, or book even. I really wanted my experiences at 21 to be exclusive to one journal. I mean, I even engraved the number 21 on the cover, along with three adorable ladybugs. 

I bought the yellow one 2 months ago when I was in London for a week. I usually buy a journal based on the sayings engraved on the front because I want the cover to serve as a reminder whenever I open it. Age 22 onwards, I'd really like to stay inspired and ambitious and avoid being a soulless, working adult.

I made the journal just a tiny bit more special by engraving a bee on the cover. Here's the weird thing that happened the day I picked up that journal from the shop—a huge BEE appeared on the floor of my kitchen.

NONE of the windows in my flat were open... but magically, out of nowhere, a fat bee appeared on the floor... Now if only I engraved a Chanel handbag on the cover.