Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ramadhan: An Academy

Allah created us in two distinct parts--a body made of soil, clay and dirt; and a ruh, which is blown into the body when we were in our mother's womb. The ruh, interestingly, was created way before our body is created. All of us, took a covenant with Allah, to obey Him, and acknowledge that He is Our Lord. 

And (remember) when your Lord brought forth from the Children of Adam, from their loins, their seed (or from Adam's loin his offspring) and made them testify as to themselves (saying): "Am I not your Lord?" They said: "Yes! We testify," lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection: "Verily, we have been unaware of this." (7:172)

Yes! We testified!

Each and every one of us has indeed testified in front of Him, that He is Our Lord, Our Master, even before we were born. But why, when we take a look at our society today, it seems that most of us do not even believe that there is a God, let alone to obey one. We are already born with the belief of God, deep inside of us, we already have the light, because we took an oath, but, some of us forget that. We forget that Allah is Our Master, the Lord of the Heavens and the Earth, and we even forget that we have no ownership of our own body and soul, because they all belong to Him. 

We forget the most important thing of all. 

Everything that Allah creates, is dependent, and has its own needs. Only Allah has no needs, while all of His creations have needs, so as our body and ruh. The body needs food, nourishment, the desire for beautification. As the body is made of earth, everything that the body needs comes from the earth. The ruh is different. It comes from Allah, hence its needs must come from Allah as well. 

Unfortunately, man runs after fulfilling the needs of the body, fulfilling their desire while neglecting the ruh's needs. We are concerned of our own self indulgence, and we tend to forget that our ruh needs its food and nourishment too. We keep feeding our body, but our ruh is in hunger, starving, until it falls sick, and eventually dies. It's like having two children, we feed one child until he is obese, while leaving the other to starve to death. 

So what happens when our ruh is sick? Our iman (faith) gets thinner, lighter, until one day, we have no more faith towards Allah. We do not believe in Allah anymore, and fails to obey Him. Nauzubillah. The food for the ruh is the revelation from the Quran. Nothing is better than the Quran, which is the light itself. The light, which is Quran, will come in contact with the light already inside our ruh, when we made the agreement with Allah before we were born. Light upon Light. (24:35)

For 11 months, we strive to fulfil the needs of our body, thus the body and the ruh are in imbalance. Fasting, on the other hand, holds up the need of the body, weakening the body's needs, allowing some space to grow for the ruh. The body will be weakened, and the ruh could be strengthen in Ramadan. How? By giving it the light--the Quran. That's why Ramadan is the month of the Quran. 

Wonderful, isn't it? How Allah knows that man tends to neglect the ruh, hence Allah provides us a month, for us to train our body and ruh to be in balance. So we could not let this fantastic opportunity to be wasted, each second in Ramadan is priceless. Let's us make full use of our Ramadan, who knows, we might not come across another Ramadan again.

Salam Ramadan, 
Erni Bidin. 
Wonderful 11 Ramadhan 
Source: Nouman Ali Khan's speech on Youtube; Relationship between Fasting and Holy Quran in Ramadan.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ramadhan. Day 1

Day 1.

Failed. Tewas. Defeated. Last Ramadhan, my performance was absolutely the worst, ever. So I vowed that this Ramadhan, I would definitely give my best. Needless to say, on Day 1, I failed to do so. Why? What happened? I succumbed to the one thing that I felt was the most difficult for me to defeat. Anger.

I was so angry with my brother, that I banged the wall with my hands, shouted at the top of my lungs, screamed like a mad man, and the mood when we all sat down for buka puasa was so gloomy. It was like everyone could see a definite aura that brought everyone's mood down. There was no feeling of glory, or triumph, for all of us, had managed to sit down together, with food laden on the table, eating to our hearts content when at some other parts of the world, someone's child is crying, because there are starving to death.

The disappointment was overwhelming. I figured that maybe it would be better if someone could punch me in the face. At least that would make me feel better. I began to think, maybe if I'm not here, I would appreciate my family more. I would be the best daughter, or the best sister in the world to my family, when I am not home. Maybe it's time to go back to Putrajaya. But, but...... When I give another thought about it, my parents are not that well. They are old, and they need someone to watch over them. While I'm here, being at home only once a year (and last year I was only home for 14 days, and did not return for another 11 months, I felt guilty for this) I should make the best of my time, to look after them. Though it's not much, I admit, I do not help them that much, but my presence, makes a huge difference. I realized that.

So, another day, another ramadhan. May the next days to come are filled with even better things. Ramadhan only comes once a year, and who knows, maybe it is our last Ramadhan?

Erni Bidin.
Mersing, Johor.
2 Ramadan.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Exam exam

Tomorrow's the big day. I wonder if I could do well. 

Just have faith in yourself, and have faith in Allah, and things will be fine, insyaAllah. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Contribution for da'wah Part 1

If we say that we are doing da'wah, then it means that it as an act of striving, working, doing, and any other verbs indicating the act of da'wah by any means possible, to change our environment, to change others and most importantly, to change ourselves. Despite giving it our all for the sake of da'wah, a da'ie must not forgets that the result will only depends on Allah's help and will.

Rasulullah, Muhammad s.a.w. during The Migration (Hijrah) asked the help of a guide for the best route to Madinah, despite praying to Allah for His guide and favour for a successful journey. He and Abu Bakar hid in the Cave of Thur, on their own thought, and Allah helped them by commanding the spiders to build their webs around the entrance of the cave so that their pursuers would not notice them. Before a war, for instance, Muhammad s.a.w and his companions will get ready, preparing the swords and suits of armor and at the same time pray that Allah will send his army of angels to win the battle.

The believers must give something for the sake of da'wah so that the process will be much easier. In this case, praying and seeking the help from the utmost Creator is a necessary act so that da'wah will be much easier. Nevertheless, Allah's help cannot be regarded as 'miracle from the heavens' as we need to put our own blood and sweat into it first. We need to regard the help from Allah as a respond from Him based on our effort to do our best for da'wah.

O you who believe! If you help (in the cause of) Allah, He will help you, and make your foothold firm. (47:7)

Monday, April 11, 2011

i wanted a lot of things

I wanted a lot of things.

I wanted a big house, I wanted a nice car, I wanted lots and lots of money.
I wanted a comfortable bed, I wanted beautiful dresses and nice shoes.
I wanted to read a lot of books, visit a lot of places and learn a lot of things.
I wanted to cook so many delicious cakes, cookies and a variety of dishes just to make everyone happy.
I wanted the best computer, mobile phone, gadgets whatsoever.
I wanted to know about a lot of people, and be inspired.
I wanted to be the best in whatever I do. I wanted to be the top of my class.
I wanted other people to look up to me and inspire others as well.
I wanted to be a leader, I wanted to run a country.
I wanted to go to the moon, and own the biggest telescope so that I could look at the furthest star in the universe.
I wanted to know everything, so that I could tell everyone what I know.
I wanted to be good at sports, arts, music, writing, cooking, sewing, et cetera et cetera.
I wanted this, I wanted that.
The list is endless.

I had big dreams. I wanted to be someone that the whole world knows about.

Those are the things that I wanted. Surely, a man's desire will never stops until the day he dies. I still want some of them now, but for the most of them, I firmly believe that I would never accomplish.

When I was younger, I made a list of a hundred things that I wanted to do and places I wanted to go to before I die. For that, I used to read a lot of books related to them, watch a lot of tv series about them, because I know that I would never have the chance to make it happen. I used to be amazed by a lot of what I' d call wonders and be very fascinated by the beauty of the universe.

As I get older, reality kicks in. I wasn't aware that fantasy will bring you anywhere, and for everything that we want in this world, we have to work for it. There will be no shortcuts, and no robots (like Doraemon) to help us.

Beautified for people is the love of that which they desire - of women and sons, heaped-up sums of gold and silver, fine branded horses, and cattle and tilled land. That is the enjoyment of worldly life, but Allah has with Him the best return. (Ali Imran, 3:14)
Our desire will never please us. We will want more and more. Rasulullah mentioned that if a man has a valley of gold, he will never fell enough until he has another valley of gold.

But Allah has with him the best return.

Something to think about.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Do Not Let What You Cannot Do Interfere With What You Can Do

A couple of days ago I was feeling stressed, and there was no motivation for me to be here. I think too much about worldly matters that worries me, more than necessary. I was worried about low performance in PBL, I was worried about being so worried about PBL that I began to worry about my tarbiyyah. I was worried about the unresolved issues regarding my accommodation next year. I was so stressed about everything that was happening until I felt that it is better for me to give up and go home. And then I began to think, what if I really went back home and thought, "I regretted my decision to gave up and if only, if only I didn't and stayed strong, my life wouldn't have changed."

We humans have a lot of dissatisfaction, with ourselves, our life, our achievements, etc. We are so caught up in our own problems, our own little world and we forget about others. What about kids in Africa who had to walk for kilometers to school just so they could get a proper education? What about the people in the poorest countries in the world, like Somalia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo? They would envy us, just because we could eat five meals a day, wear different clothes everyday, get to go to school, university, have a chance to study overseas, and so on. What would they say to you?

And yet we spend our time finding what we call motivation? What kind of a motivation do you want? Isn't it enough that you do everything for yourself, and most importantly, isn't it enough you do everything for the sake of Allah? Does it matter if you would get good or bad outcome out of your hard work, if you already done it for the sake of your religion?

Do you know what is the best thing that could be given to you?

The guidance, the light from Allah. The best thing that Allah could ever given you, it is even better than being given the whole world and all of its contents. So why does it matter that your life is so miserable when everything that could you could've ever wanted--Allah's guidance--have been given to you?

And then I began to think, what am I doing this for? Why am I here? Well the answer is already in your heart, you have to stop worrying and think, think about the good things that have been given to you. Your brain, your eyes, your mouth, your hands, your nose, your ears, a house that can protect you from rain, or snow; food on your plate everyday, a computer to get connected to the world, a bed that you could sleep on comfortably, a pen to write your notes, a pair of glasses so you could have a better sight, a friend that could help you when you need them. All of them. You should be thankful for all of them. And most importantly, you should be thankful that you are still alive, and the door of His Mercy is still opened for you. You still have a chance to start anew, and improve your life. You still have a chance to leave everything that is harmful to you and be closer to Allah. Do it while you still have the chance.

There can be no more regret on the Day of Judgement. In the Quran, Allah says that during the Day of Judgement, sinners would regret their actions and they would beg for Allah to return them to the living world so that they could do better. But Allah says, all of it, would be useless then. No more second chances, no more turning back. They could only move forward.

So, move forward, don't go back to the person you used to be back then. You have been given a gift, a gift that is better that the world and all of its contents. Don't look back, and don't dwell on the past. The past is so far away now, that no matter how fast you run to catch it, you would never grab them back. The only way to live, is to move forward, and whenever you stumble, upon an obstacle, get up, stand tall and move forward again, for life is a test. A test from Allah, so that you would not be too happy with what you have now, and never to despair with whatever circumstances that befalls on you. (al hadid, 57: 23).

There is no time to feel stressed, or down, or disappointed with your life, because life is always going to be a test. Whenever you pass one, you would encounter another one. Until you die. And then you can rest. In the meantime, you have to work hard. To pass the test, so that you could really relax in the Hereafter. There is no time to relax in this world, because Jannah is not easy to enter. If you want to enter a prestigious university like Oxford, for example, you can't do so by simply lazing around and observe others doing the work for you, you have to earn it. Do you think you could enter Jannah when you sit there, in front of your computer all day long, watching movies, playing FarmVille on Facebook, or just simply doing nothing? And then when you are in front of Allah, you're going to say that, "Oh I'm sorry, I was going to work hard tomorrow, and stop lazing around today, but before tomorrow, I already died, and I never had the chance."

This is actually a hadith which could be found in Riyadhus Solihin by Imam Nawawi, I forgot which chapter it is from, so you would have to check it out on your own.

The life in this world is portrayed by the inside of the box, and our life, like the box, is contained by the thin line surrounding it, which is death. Death surrounds us, and death follows us everywhere. Death is definite, there is no way out of it. A person's dreams will always go out of the box, because sometimes they dream so much that they would never be able to reach them. A dream is not like an ambition that a person would want to accomplish, or visions that they have for themselves, but dreams in this context is just, well, a dream. Pure fantasy. People would often dream that they can achieve something good, or accomplish something great, and just dream, without even doing anything to get to it. Those kinds of dreams. It shows that people would always dream, and forget that death is closer to them, than their dreams. The little lines on the bottom are the tests that has been bestowed upon us, by Allah to test our faith. They are actually a very small portion of a person's life, and a person should not always feel discouraged by Allah's test. When another passes, there will be more to come, and there is no way to escape them until we die. So the only way to move forward is to overcome these tests and obstacles.

Life in this world is only a tiny portion of life as a whole, of the never ending story in the Hereafter. But, this tiny portion will determine the latter part, whether we are worthy of His Paradise and worthy of The meeting with Him, Our Creator.

So get over yourself, stand up, start anew. Yesterday was just another day, and what you do today determine what you'll become tomorrow. The past will never come back. Time will not stop for you. There is no time to be sad, or down, or disappointed, because the time you spend to do so, could be used to sincerely ask for His Mercy, before it is too late to do so.

What else do you need to be a motivator, other than HIM, The Almighty, The All Knowing, The Most Merciful.

Turn over a new leaf, and never look back.