Thursday, May 21, 2015


"If you count Allah's blessings, you can never encompass them all. 
Indeed, the human being is transgressing, unappreciative."
(Surah Ibrahim: 34)

I recently celebrated another birthday, Alhamdulillah; and I am still wondering whether I am any wiser than the year before.  

Like every year, I sincerely do not expect parties or presents, but dear family members and friends have gone through the trouble of making sure that I know there are people who would go a special mile for me.  And yes, it does fill up that sometimes hollow feeling one occasionally gets.

Nothing but my duaas for them; friends and relatives for the amazing wishes and duaas, Mak Morni for the fresh roses, Twin H & Little D for the M&S toiletries, Twin Z for the movie treat, Kak Long for the family dinner, MM for the shawl and perfume, my academic team for the material from Jakel, and mostly, Princess for the juzuks of hafazan and the best of all, the twins (collectively) for the regular and prompt jemaah prayers at the mosque - priceless!  Blessed to bits!

Today is my Princess' birthday and I pray for a million blessings and rezq of all forms for this diamond of mine.  Spent the morning with her arranging for her passport, which is of course just an excuse to spend some time with her on her birthday.

If granted another year of life, how else would you spend it, other than the best you could with your loved ones?

NB: In four more days, it would have been my late brother's 48th birthday.  May Allah grant Him mercy and place Him in jannah...

Monday, May 18, 2015

Pausing again

I woke up in the early hours of the morning to the sound of  rain, falling in soft susurration.  Slowly, I stepped to the window, peeking to confirm that it was showering by looking at the light shining from the street lamp.  The refreshing and ever-familiar smell of rain reaffirmed that it was indeed raining.  MasyaAllah!

I smiled and spent a few minutes gazing into the darkness.  All my worries and concerns were absorbed into the refreshing night.  Quickly, I hurried to take my ablution, and then, to meet my soul Creator, the Most Generous, Most Forgiving and Most Exalted.  

And so I reflected.

Every year, I fall into the delusion that that particular year was the most challenging in bringing up the children.  Last year, for instance, was an indescribable year: physically, financially, mentally and emotionally trying.  This year, however, is a different episode as the twins go off to university, after Little D settled in his school just like my Princess.  The nest will soon be empty! 

Interestingly, year in, year out, Allah tests me and I still fail miserably.  The reaction, upon every single trial, is often of concern and worry.  The realistic, logical and scientific me still think a + b = c.  All theories and lessons learnt regarding the concept of Tawakkul is often forgotten.  

Thus,  moments such as this, where I get to let go and entrust Him with the whole predicament, are most invaluable.  Imagine, the only way for Him to get my attention, a little bit of my time and a wee bit more submission is when He tests me.  Utterly shameful and revolting. 

Despite all these, I know I hold that special position within Him because He never ever fails to grant my du'aas. Every single one of them.   

Recently, when I shared my current worries with my very good spiritual friend who I consider among the biggest blessing Allah has granted me, she cautioned me not to worry.  Nonchalantly, I responded by laughing out loud and exclaimed, "Don't worry? How is that possible?"

She then said something which pierced right through my guts, "Because Allah swt is taking care of you."



Tears trickled down my cheeks and I knew that she was right.  Forgive me, my Lord.

"O my Lord! let my entry be by the Gate of Truth and Honor and likewise my exit by the Gate of Truth and Honor; and grant me from Thy Presence an authority to aid (me)."
Surah Isra (17) verse 80.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Awkwardness without the *LIKE* button

Deciding to start blogging again does not only mean cracking the head for ideas to write about.  It means blog-hopping too!  You leave a comment on a blogger's page and the person will click your name and hop over to your blog.  That's how you fish for readers.  In time, you don't need to work so hard because you'd be addicted to some blogs and if your writing is good enough to beckon a crowd, you'll receive your fair share of the deal.

However, after many years of abandoning the habit of blog-hopping and enjoying the cruise on Facebook, I find that (I'm sure others do too) I don't want to write anything much in the comment box.  Neither do I want to leave without a mark.  

So, can someone please tell me where the *LIKE* button is??

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

A possible come back?

I was tagged on Facebook yesterday (24th April 2015).  So someone has started a challenge for all bloggers to reactivate and kick-start the old hobby. Yes, to blog or not to blog? (As a fellow blogger's website goes, or went).  Below is the post I was referring to.  Kak Teh is the one creating a ripple effect to fellow bloggers who have mostly converted into Facebook fans: lazily opting to type in single lines or paragraphs to update their activities. For some, this may be hourly (or more frequent, of course!) while others, perhaps daily or occasionally.

Clearly, Facebook has been more convenient and personal.  However, I have developed a sort of love-hate relationship with Facebook in which I despise the cheap publicity but love the 'sharing' concept.  Oh well!

I have always loved writing. Through it, I get to express my feelings, thoughts and doubts.  It often gives me a sense of direction.  Only very recently, I attempted to write regular notes on my FB and I find that I'm still struggling to discipline myself to write regular posts.

Upon reflection, the blogging experience has Alhamdulillah, opened so many doors of friendship for me.  

I wrote the above on the 25th of April.  I scheduled the post to be published at midnight of the 6th of May. Patiently, I have been waiting.  

Now, at the eve of the 6th of May, I can't help reminiscing blogging days of yesteryear. Perhaps it was easier when one was in a foreign land and blogging became a way of connecting with the world (and gaining sanity).  Obviously, it was a different kind of social media more popular than Twitter, Facebook or IG today.  

Some ridiculed bloggers for the cheap diary/journal-writing format; enlisting the challenges of bringing up children or sharing recipes that work.  More interestingly, the more heated ones are those creating controversy: too intimate or too politically inclined.  In my humble opinion, the writer (blogger) has all the right to write about anything under the sun.  As readers, however, it is up to one whether to frequent the blog and whether to agree or disagree with the writer.  

I, for one, prefer more general reads and of course, writers (who do it for a living) like Kak Teh's Choc-a-bloc, Kata Kama and Write Lah were among the ones mostly frequented.  Of course, when I google for recipes, then I'd probably land on Dari Dapur Maklang or Kitchen Tales, among others.  My Monologues and Petite n Powerful were written by women who have lost their husbands, just like me (singular, not plural).  What will remain etched in me are blogs written by strong-willed cancer fighters who have ceased; the late Raden Galoh, R2D2, Mas Afzal and Ruby Ahmad. If you want to read entertaining and witty pieces, then you HAVE to go to Serenity Now.  Oh, there were definitely many more meaningful blogs but this mammoth of a woman cannot list them all down. Sorry.

I realize that most of the blogs listed on my blogroll are no longer active.  I probably have to do some spring cleaning and tidying up here, and put up new curtains(links).  Will do some serious blog-hopping in the evening, when bloggers worldwide are awake!

To all bloggers, welcome back!

Wednesday, February 05, 2014


I am on leave this week - an excellent pleasure especially when the children did not have school on Monday and Tuesday.  Yesterday morning, I reminded Little D to feed and check on his pets and he dutifully went downstairs.  Minutes later, I heard Little D shout, "Mama, I can't find the chicken!"

"Have you checked the oven?"


"Ok, I'll check the freezer then!"

"Maaaa!!  Didik's nowhere to be found!"

I tugged on my bedsheets, hung the towels and joined Little D in our backyard. We called out for Didik and lo and behold, there she was, sitting on her eggs.

Little D later whispered to me his hopes.  He hoped that the eggs would hatch this time, after so many failed attempts.  New chicks would mean continued legacy of the beloved pair of chicken as Jalak had died about a month ago. 

You see, my children bought Jalak (male) and Didik (female) which are of Bantam breed (also known as Ayam Katek/Serama) more than a year ago.  They were named after the children's late father's own Bantam pair of chickens.  However, the children's Didik is not like any normal hen.   Initially, she laid eggs but refused to sit on them.  After a few months, she decided to sit on her eggs but she sat on them longer than the she was supposed to; yet no little chicks came to life!

So when Little D expressed his high hopes for a successful new generation from Didik this time, he justified it with one reason: to keep Didik company since she was all alone now.  I couldn't resist saying, "Like me?"

"Hmm... No. You had the four of us when Abah was still alive.  For Didik, Jalak is already dead."

I smiled and counted my blessings.

N.B.  Tok Bah has explained to Little D that Didik will continue laying unfertilized eggs (which will never hatch) because she no longer has a male partner.  So, Special Scrambled eggs for breakfast tomorrow, anyone? :P

Friday, January 31, 2014

What happens to you after six years and three months?

What can a six year old child do? He'd be able to read, write, count and sing. It's an age of initial independence filled with a knowledge-hunting mission; stepping into pre-school and for some, anxiously into primary school.  By six, a child would be able to do some things on his own such as hanging up his clothes and washing his own plate.

Six years and three months ago, my husband of eleven years passed away, leaving behind four children in my care.

Alhamdulillah, I have thus learnt to scale down everything so that things are manageable and stress-free.  I am the north and south of my children; the father and mother to three boys and one girl. I gave up a lot of things - material and personal.  It goes without saying that the biggest trial of all is bringing up the children.  The challenges come in from various directions; emotional, physical, psychological, spiritual, and financial.  No matter what, and no matter how, I juggle with the physical demands and most of the time, fall enslaved to my emotional whims.  

Yet, what did people say about me? They said that I was strong.  Very, very strong.  How they judge this is beyond my own discernment.  How could I appear strong, when my feet were always wobbly, and my heart, always jittery? How was I strong when I was always hopelessly in tears, asking Him to give me strength to live every single day?

Many things have happened during the period of six years and three months and I, for one, am no longer the same as the person I was before.  There's some good in it, Alhamdulillah, and also some disadvantages.

The good thing behind it all is, I am now closer to Him - Allahu Akbar.  The difficulties in life - the loss of my soul-mate, the trials of bringing up four children, etc - are merely reminders that He sets for me.  I am now more responsible for my actions and am also hopefully, more resilient (oh, please let this be true, and not just a figment of my imagination!).

However, the down-side of it is, I have lost any urge to dream.  My hopes are all related to my children and my ibadah.  I live my life, not caring much about the nitty-gritty of things.   I no longer have any material aims.  

Do I still miss him? Oh yes, I do... If I close my eyes, I can run scene upon scene of days with him.  The laughter, the joy, the jokes!  My heart would throb at the thought of him; aching because he has left big gaps in my life.  Nonetheless, six years is a paradoxical period of time: so long ago but then again, wasn't it just yesterday?   Nevertheless, I now understand what the phrase "time heals" means.  Visions of the daily routine sans him gets clearer and somewhat easier, as I learn the ropes and lower my expectations.  So yes, I CAN live without him by my side. He who was my motivator, my driving force and my saviour.  How? I have now shifted my total reliance and dependency towards the Almighty Allah, the One and Only Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem. Something I should have done all along.

In six years, the children have grown and soon, I will be pulling my hair dealing with the empty-nest syndrome and hopefully, menopausal symptoms will loom in much much later!  Oh boy... Having a blog is definitely therapeutic, even if I shy away from attention.  Unlike raving writers who maintain blogs to be in the lime-light, I somehow prefer to be the opposite.  The irony is, the more you resist, the more it comes closer to you. 

Ergo, I have resumed writing because I have decided to step out of my shadows.  I am going to stop lurking in the dark and hold on strongly to my reins, maneuvering my life in the direction I am to go (even if I don't know where that is). 

What I write here are my own reflections, as this space is where I pause and breathe and gain strength.  May Allah ease it all for us...

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Of Joys and Sorrows

The first time I read this poem many years ago, the paradoxical content intrigued me.  It still does.  But today, I can relate to it better from the perspectives of a Muslim. Can you?

 Kahlil Gibran 
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, "Joy is greater thar sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.