Don’t Wait to Be Grateful!

Such is the reminder pertinent to myself as of today.

I was reading an article about 3 habits that will change your life and I’m glad I’m already practising one of it now that is, journaling. 
The app that I’m currently using is the Gratitude Journal App and it has been a tremendous tool! The interface is such that when you type in words/sentences of things you’re grateful for, you then need to click a “Yes, I am grateful” button below to save it. I like it as it kinda reinforces the value of gratitude in users. 

I try to do it at least once every day, usually at night before I sleep. In a way, I try to sleep with a grateful heart. It is so much comforting really, than going to sleep with an empty or distressed heart or weeping eyes. Honestly though, some days are harder. Some days I’m just glad I got through work, some days I’m just glad nothing ‘bad’ happened. Some days I just feel so ‘meh’ – like there’s nothing to be grateful for. But know that there is. Even if you can just think of one, or even if you think it’s not significant. If it’s so bad, look at others below you in terms of their living conditions and quality of life. Even if you don’t feel that gratitude in your heart coz we all have our days, helps to just bear in mind and tell yourself that there are some things out there, bigger than myself that are truly good. 

This week I havn’t been updating my gratitude journal app daily as I reached most nights too tired, too late at night to write etc. 

So I found myself entering things into the app past 6pm today and the golden reminder for me is that, don’t wait till night time to set aside time to be grateful for all the day’s happenings. This is because I don’t always have the luxury of time or the energy to it. So when I do get some quiet time to myself, I need to make it a point to pen down the things I want to be grateful to Allah swt for. 
Being grateful doesn’t cause the struggles, worries, negative vibes to disappear into thin air. It is still there. It is up to me, which one I choose to focus on. Focus on your blessings, or your deficiencies? Plus, heard of a super-great bonus from the One who gifts us with all these blessings? Yes. He promised that when we are grateful, He gives us more.  And Allah swt gives in His often subtle ways ūüôā 
May Allah swt make us ever-grateful, and in us doing so, we attain His Love.

#airplanemode

11th floor. 

Everything else below seemed small. 

And so too are these you are carrying.

All your doubts, worries, insecurities, uncertainties, ongoing struggles. 

You are exactly who you are

Just human 

Ever so struggling

Always far from perfect 

And so is your life 

But no matter what

Keep in mind

That there’s always a bigger perspective 

There’s a bigger world out there 

While everything that may concern you is valid 

Not everything that is valid need to be dwelled upon 

Drowning and sinking deeper 

Is not a healthy way to live 

Therefore embrace the fact of the matter of your life in this world

Temporary it is 

Remember 

His Promises 

Of the everlasting abode 

That is 

Waiting.

When your mind is super-clouded and overwhelmed, #airplanemode 

It’s Never About Finishing¬†

One lesson that I got from the month of Ramadhan that had just passed is that it’s never about “finishing”. It’s good to have goals that you set to achieve in the month but know that it’s okay if you fall back and your goal is ‘delayed’ a day, two days, or several days short. You know yourself better than others so don’t compare your journey to theirs. What is key is striving for consistency. This is a hard lesson for me to learn because I’m someone who has high expectations of myself and one of my challenges is having consistency or istiqamah.

I’ve been striving to journal down my day reflections but lately, I fall short and I don’t do it but I try to keep to my Gratitude Journal app on my phone every day before I sleep. I’ve learnt not to beat myself up over not being studious enough to keep to certain habits that I’d like to have as I know there are other ways that can still work for me.

I’ve been watching the Faith Revival Ramadhan series by Sh. Omar Suleiman on YouTube and I only discovered it like 2 weeks after Ramadhan and I’ve yet to reach the 10th episode. And that’s fine, the idea is never about “finishing” the whole series by the end of Ramadhan as there’s no point if I do so but I don’t truly gain benefit from it. It’s better that I take it at my own pace, make it a point to really learn and practice what I learnt. The rest of the series will continue this Syawal and perhaps even beyond? Just like how we should sustain the spirit of Ramadhan, the essence of worship itself outside of Ramadhan. The spirit of learning and improving. 

Two of my favourite sisters in faith, Aida Azlin & Fadhilah Wahid, who started the Ramadhan Reminders podcast based on a book by Habib Umar al-Hafiz also had their own challenges. Even though they initially mentioned posting a new podcast daily at night, their busy schedules and family commitments had them to change to every alternate day instead and from what I’ve read recently, they are planning to continue on these podcasts for the rest of the year until they finish the whole book! MasyaAllah. May He make it easy for them. 

I think the essence of all these is that while we strive toward improvement and our plans, we need to realize that perfection is not a goal. We will never be perfect. Some days easier, some days harder. Other days you feel like zero. But the point of aim is your end in mind. Who are you doing all this for? To please who? For whose benefit? Don’t give up, keep on trying. Keep on striving. Life is not a race of who’s faster. It’s never about “finishing”. Get on at your own pace and have faith. 

Qadr Allahu wa Masha Fa’al

which means: Allah has decreed it and what He willed has happened
A phrase I first heard, spoken by an ustaz who was the moderator for the talk with Mufti Ustaz Fatris & Habib Ali Zaenal Abidin few weeks ago. He was referring to how it’s not easy to bring the both of them together yet the Qadr of Allah made it easy.
And so I was reminded of the phrase few days ago when I had a bout of mild food poisoning. Terrible, definitely. I couldn’t make it for kak Huda’s walimah and intuitively I sort of knew I couldn’t make it for the KL trip the next morning. True enough.

I had been looking forward to it all week, plans to go to the book fair and buy lotsa books, buy dresses and hijabs, explore the place, the food, basically a wind-down before I start prepping for my exams.

And I’ll end with this.

Grateful still,
For my ever-loving mum who cares for me in every inch possible
Despite her exhaustion
Decided to change her half-day work to today so she could cook for me
For my dad and little brother who cares too in their own ways
For a caring friend as well
Count your blessings
Always
If you think you’ve had it real rough
Know that it could’ve been worse
None of it will go to waste
An expiation of sins insyaAllah
Just be patient
Don’t complain
A lesson too
To teach you.

On Prayers, Departure & Ambition 

Death,
Will we ever be ready, truly?

We prayed the jenazah prayer for my late great grandmother today
Prayer upon prayer
Our hands to the skies
We ask of Him
For the one lying in front of us
Forgiveness, mercy

I can’t help but wonder
How will it be when our turn is up?

What will the people remember of me?
Will they pray for me?
Will I be a person such that I deserve His Love and Mercy?

The answer is up to me

Our mind is a blessing
And a responsibility
So when I decided today
What do I want to be?
A good person.

“Aku nak jadi orang yang baik”.
Camne nak jadi orang baik? Buat baik.
Teringat kata-kata Mufti Ustaz Fatris, macam-macam  perkara baik yang kita boleh lakukan. Sedangkan mengetepikan perkara di jalanan yang boleh jadi halangan untuk orang lain adalah sebahagian dari iman..
Jangan remehkan perkara ‘kecil’. Tak kira baik atau buruk. Sebab dua-dua ade kesannye kepada kita, tak termasuk dosa atau pahala kerana mungkin jugak orang lain yang terjejas.

A simple sentence yet holds so much weight and meaning.
May Allah swt ease.

Salam maal hijrah!

“Hijrah itu pengorbanan. Hijrah itu perjuangan. Hijrah itu persaudaraan. Hijrah membawa perpaduan.”

The essence of hijrah goes back to the hijrah of our Prophet pbuh. Peace and blessings be upon him always and forever.

May Allah forgive us all and protect us in these extremely trying times. May He put the love of Islam in our hearts and make Him the center of our lives. May our hearts be cleansed of illness and be filled with compassion and love towards ourself and others. May He make us exemplary living ambassadors of the Deen. May we be granted strength and courage to hasten to all that which is good and that brings us closer to Him and to leave that which He is not pleased with. May He grant us steadfastness and strength of character and positivity to tread the righteous path. May He grant us righteous and worthy companions in this life and the next. May He unite our hearts upon iman, despite our differences. May we always hasten to Allah’s forgiveness and strive to continously improve our conditions.

Heart Therapy Talk @ Jamiyah ar-Rabitah Mosque

The past Sunday I attended the above talk with my dear A, alhamdulillah it was a beneficial afternoon. Can’t be more timely, to talk about the heart, especially since it’s been more than a month since Ramadhan left. These are some personal takeaways I managed to note down:

First part of the talk was by Ustazah Shameem Sultanah. The ABC model-

The ABC model-

  • A being Adversity, something that you cannot change yet this A is meant for you.
  • B stands for Beliefs, where they can either be positive or negative. We can choose between these 2, no matter the adversity. Positive beliefs stem from a strong connection/rope with Allah swt, that is to think well of Allah no matter what our circumstances are or whatever that happens to us. From that rope, we also have ropes and connections with people and things. These can be our¬†attachments too, which we need to cut because they can hinder us from having a sole attachment to Allah.
  • C stands for consequences. This can also be positive or negative, as this is a result of our beliefs. So we can actually change our outcome(insyaAllah) if we just change our beliefs.

How to change our beliefs? It’s important to monitor our self-talk.

  1. Listen to our self-talk. Put away our phone at times and just don’t do anything.
  2. Be quiet, look around and monitor the things you tell yourself. Is it positive or negative?
  3. If it’s negative, redirect and change it to positive.

Think positively of people(creations), think positively of the Creator -> Peace & serenity


Second part of the talk was by Ustazah Halimah Alaydrus titled Berhati-hatilah dengan hati (this part will be in Malay).

  • Allah swt tidak lihat kepada¬†rupa kita tetapi pada hati kita, di mana letaknya hati kita.
  • Hati adalah pemimpin, baiknya ia, baiklah diri kita. Buruknya ia, buruklah diri kita nauzubillah.
  • Hati adalah¬†tempat Allah tetapkan untuk segala yang baik seperti cinta dan iman.
  • Kebahagiaan terletak¬†bukan pada benda luaran seperti harta, kecantikan atau kuasa tetapi terletak pada hati.
  • Goal kita? Untuk mendapatkan hati yang bersih.1- Bersihkan hati dengan istighfar, dan taubat. 2- Istiqamah dengan sentiasa mengingati Allah, consistent dalam ibadah, jauhkan penyakit hati. 3-Dekati orang-orang yang baik.

Moga kita tergolong dalam golongan yang mempunyai nafsu mutmainnah di mana Allah akan berkata pada hari Kiamat:

‚ÄúKembalilah kepada Tuhanmu dengan keadaan engkau berpuas hati (dengan segala nikmat yang diberikan) lagi diredhai (di sisi Tuhanmu) ! ‚Äď

“Serta masuklah engkau dalam kumpulan hamba-hambaku yang berbahagia 

‚ÄúDan masuklah ke dalam SyurgaKu!”

-Surah al-Fajar: 28-30