Tuesday, April 01, 2008


In life, most people (not all) aim to be upgraded at every opportunity given. From a clerk to an officer, from an executive to a manager, from single to married (?!), from driving a Proton Kancil to a Honda, from living in a rented house to something owned, from using a Pilot ballpoint pen to a Montblanc, from having a diploma to a degree, then to a Masters, then to a PhD, then to an Associate Professor, then to a Professor (does it end there, I wonder...), etc. All the examples given are material because they are the most obvious ones in life. What about upgrading the quality of Imaan in us?

This sort of upgrading is often easier hoped and talked about than done. Yes, everyone hopes to be able to perform their Hajj, fast more days, do more good deeds, sacrifice more worldly matters, give more to the needy, and spend more time praying and reading the Quran. But how many percent of us who hope and pray for this really achieve at least 50% of what we hope for? Or better still, how many percent of us really attempt to upgrade ourselves? At the end of each year, do we spend adequate time on our appraisals (if there are any!) to really evaluate how much effort we have actually put into the upgrading process? I congratulate those who have been successfully doing this, for I admit that I fail miserably each year.

Aaahh... that is the weakness of the human souls. The fluctuating Imaan - sometimes it reaches out to the skies, sometimes it stays monotonous, and at other unfortunate moments, it plunges down into the pits.

An interesting thought struck my mind earlier today: how many of us are really brave enough to take on a challenge in order to be upgraded? I mean, some people are not fortunate enough (ie: not being offered the opportunity) to even be considered for an upgrade. On the other hand, there are people who simply refuse to take the challenge, hence just being contented with what they have. "It's okay," they say, "We prefer a mediocre and simple life, without challenges, trials and tribulations. Offer it to someone else please."

So, upgrades are good, aren't they? Take on a challenge, strive hard to achieve it, and surrender to the Almighty. If only we are lucky enough and brave enough, that is...


Ummi said...

Dear D, I have been reading your entries silently and I like the way you write. You have a unique way of writing. Hope to see you writing a book.

Kaklong Syikin said...


sis d, lepas gelaran prof. tu rasanya gelaran prof.emeritus..betulkan saya kalau saya salah.

iman kita memang sentiasa turun naik. tu sbb ada masanya rajin solat awal waktu, ada masanya solat lewat waktu :(.

moga apa2 sahaja tindakan kita nak upgrade hidup kita takkan lari drp rahmat dan kasih sayang Allah..

cikMilah said...

A good reminder indeed! Thank-you.

Us.. said...

I think everybody had their own challenge either in good way or bad way. Upgrade also for me had different meaning for different people.

Nobody can get a way from Allah test. Money, wealth, good job, get promoted..all this is a test although we see as an upgrade. Because to test in good way is more harder than bad way.

To test in sadness, terrible and un comfy usually bring us closer to Allah easily. But being test in a good is more harder because it's easy to make us forget.

But, the hardest is to maintain the closeness and yakin to rely upon Allah all the time and not only when we been test.

To ready and brave enough to face the challenge, Allah don't wait for that I reckon. Because when the time comes..nothing can stop it.

Dua which my hubby always told me to do is for Allah not to test us in the way we couldn't handle because Allah is so mercy.

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Kak Teh said...

D, at my age i dont need any upgrading, just a recharge of batteries and perhaps a kickstart once in a while!

But on a more serious note, yes, an upgrade to perform the haj, certainly. The ultimate aim in one's life.

Umi Kalthum Ngah said...

Dearest D,

Thank you for visiting..Was wondering where you went!

Upgrading oneself…Hmm..

My point of view…(a middle aged lady, a few more years of work before retiring…)

We must inculcate the culture of doing everything (including our job which is our responsibility) with the spirit of amanah, diligence, with rigour and passion. With ihsan….meaning of which is ‘doing things as we see Allah, if not then, as though Allah is watching us”. In other words…attaining excellence…

At the same time, our iman should constantly be checked and scrutinized…by ourselves…and by our flock (we should always strive to stay in a group that is constantly reminding each other of our faith….in other words, be affiliated with a study group, upgrading knowledge in faith and doing good, forbidding misdeeds..).

Then, along the way, if somebody or the institution that we are with suddenly decide to award us with things like ‘promotion’, higher position…then regard those as added bonuses. To be accepted with a sense of gratefulness towards Allah, with humbleness and grace to others. To be shared and to acknowledge those who have lent their hands in making our job so much easier and meaningful.

We must then continue to carry out our responsibilities with the same rigour and excitement…But we must remember to never step on other peoples’ shoes as we climb up the ladder. Nor push people away from the rungs that we are all clinging on to…i.e. always help each other..

Then only do we attain peacefulness of mind and happiness. And we won’t ever feel disgruntled if our efforts are not appreciated by certain quarters. Only Allah has the power to bestow upon us rezeki. Rejoice too with others’ accomplishments…cleanse our souls…

I am always reminded of the word ‘istidraj’ (182 Surah Al-A'raf), a condition (if we are not careful) that was touched upon by one presenter during a talk I attended years ago…

Whereby, a person is tested in the sense that he/she goes on and on doing misdeeds and each time Allah continues to bestow upon the person ‘success upon success’ in his/her life. To the point that the person forgets to seek forgiveness on all the misdeeds upon misdeeds that is being accumulated….whereas in fact, the person’s efforts are futile worldly pursuits.. Allah’s benevolence, rahmat and barakah for the person is being reduced little by little without the person actually realizing it….

Nauzubillah! We constantly make doa so that we may not fall into this category of people…Amin..


elara said...

I need upgrading iman too! You really hit the nail on the head. The cost of upgrading iman, is nil unlike computers or cars where ppl upgrade their cars into a bimmer or mercs; seems like everyone does that here.

myheartbleeds said...

I feel that my hubby's passing was a promotion from God. Of course, it did not sink in immediately, but 2 days after he was gone, I felt that God had given me a chance to be 'promoted' further. That this was his way of making me a better person (Allah works in mysterious ways).

With the 'promotion', my key performance indicators (KPI) are bigger and heavier now. If my previous KPI was to raise my kids with a co-manager, now the task is solely mine. And if previously I had another 'colleague' to pass the buck to when I can't handle it, now I'd have to find ways to do it myself.

The question is, with this promotion, would I be able to achieve my KPI to God?

Will I ever survive the bigger responsibility? Will I be able to raise my kids single-handedly successfully?

I'll just have to see how I fare at the "performance review".

Kak Teh said...

D, My apologies, reading back my comment above, it must seemed as if i have trivialised the issue.
I think we upgrade ourselelves all the time without realising it. I find myself frequenting the tahlil and tazkirah held at friend's place and at the MSD surau. Gone were the days when I shy away from tarawikh prayers and religious discussions. I find myself collecting doas and perfecting my recitation of surahs. In small steps, yes, but it is upgrading nevertheless. Who would have thought that now I am wearing the tudung? We pray for Allah to show us the way and Alhamdulillah he never failed us.

D said...

thank you dearest. Errr.. Book No1 has long been abandoned. Book No2 is on its way, InsyaAllah.

kak long syikin,
betul tu... semoga diberkati Allah sentiasa!

cik milah,
this is more for myself than for anyone else. Great that I can share though!

The thing is, Allah loves us and knows the best for us - so how can we not handle what we are tested with? There's always some hikmah behind every incident. Wallahu'alam.

barb michelin,
thank you for dropping by. Hope you didn't miss your flight. Will probably check the site!

kak teh,
hehe.. you came back to 'repair' your comment? You must have really paused to reflect!!

Umi kalthum,
thank you for sharing that thought-provoking piece! You are indeed right!

yeah... We pray for one another and remind one another - nothing beats the upgrading of imaan!

you are definitely right. We are the lucky ones to be tested. It is an opportunity to upgrade, definitely, but maintaining and ensuring it never goes downhill is another challenge. InsyaAllah, we'll all be upgrading!

Anonymous said...

kak, salam ...

harap akak ok dgn anak2 ..

akak sambung belajar ke kat sana? plan to come to uk nx year, tengoklah kalau ada rezeki ...

minta email add, boleh? i got yr blog add dari zeti.

saya nak sgt dpt contact number or email add kak sham din. ada tak?

ok kak --- take great care --- dayang