Part One: Taking the Jump
My fingers hesistated over the screen for a good five minutes, wondering for the umpteenth time…
Part One: Taking the Jump
My fingers hesistated over the screen for a good five minutes, wondering for the umpteenth time…
Time Capsules and Teleportation
Just last week alone, I found myself dining in a swanky three-course French restaurant amidst…
As the imamah said the last tasyahud for solatul isya’ and the soft murmurs of the approximately 100-strong women-only jemaah followed suit in the musollah, a soft groan could be heard from behind the last saff.
Slowly the groan increased in its intensity, sometimes escalating to screaming and sometimes withdrawing to a deep growl. We begun to look at each other and at the writhing student, curiosity reflected in most of our eyes and fear, perhaps in all of us.
The imamah’s zikr began to get louder, trying to get us to return to where we were. Slowly, one by one we turned back to face the kiblah and as a collective whole, our zikr rang through the musollah.
“Allahu la illahaillahu wal hayyul qayyum…”
The possessed student at the back began screaming once again, drowning our voices. We fought back, perhaps in knowing that His words are the only weapon we have to fight ‘it’ off, or even perhaps wanting to spare our own ears from hearing the wretched screaming that sent goosebumps all over our body.
As the du’as came to an end, so did the screaming. The musollah was silent as we waited for the imamah leading the taraweeh with bated breath (she was attending to the student prior). My eyes met with those of the sister next to me; her grim expression with furrowed eyebrows and hands clenched tightly on her prayer garb described exactly the feelings I was trying to hide inside. My mouth was wet with zikrullah… I was certain He was the only protection I had.
An hour later as the students began filing out of the musollah abuzz with conversations from the earlier incident, I stayed behind to greet the imamah, a friend of mine. We sat down and she remarked that many people thought that with Ramadhan, such cases are to stop but that is not the case.
“From my understanding, the iblis and the shaitaan are the ones shackled, but the djinns are not. And of course, djinns can be either Muslim or Kafir. Who’s to say the latter won’t cause any trouble?”
I went home that night with my knees shaking; many a times I have read or watched on Youtube about such incidents, but truly nothing is the same as experiencing the real thing, and what more during Ramadhan!
But as I was having a conversation with my mother the next morning, it dawned on me that man being possessed by djinns during Ramadhan is not as big as an issue as a man acting possessed during Ramadhan itself…
“Fadhilah, that lady I was telling you about has been hospitalised. She was asking us for help to send her to the hospital yesterday because she couldn’t even move, and all of her children had refused to come home to help her because they were out somewhere with their friends…”
I could hear my mother’s voice breaking over the phone recalling the fate of her friend. I put down the phone, heart heavy mulling over the situation. Anger and disappointment left me speechless for a good hour as I knew that lady’s children and I couldn’t quite understand how they could have found it in their hearts to do what they did!
It struck me that if the iblis and shayateen have all been removed from our midst, then what must have possessed these young adults is most definitely their nafs. Nafs that have been well-trained and nurtured by the shackled-ones that even in their absence, the nafs continue doing as they pleased, their hearts stone-cold without any mercy for anyone, even their sickly mother.
May all of us be protected from the evil entities outside of us, and more importantly, may all of us be protected from the evil entities that might reside within us. Truly, if our actions are without mercy even in Ramadhan itself, then even the calamity of being possessed by djinns or being struck by sihr is not as terrible a tragedy as our soul being possessed by a nafs devoid of any consciousness of Allah.
I sat on the carpeted floor of the masjid, deeply immersed in reading an article on the upcoming Apple iOS, when I felt a tap on my shoulder. Surprised, I turned to find a sister from Syria (who sat in several classes with me) smiling, a camera in her hand.
“Assalamualaikum, I’m sorry to disturb you, but I need your help.”
Still in a state of surprise, I readily agreed without putting much thought into the matter.
“We’re doing a campaign to raise awareness on what’s happening in Syria. I just need you to look into the camera, and say ‘Save Syria!’ in any style you like. Jazakillah khayr ya ukhti!”
Minutes later I sat myself back down, a pinch of distaste on my tongue coming from my own dose of hypocrisy. How could I be in a video calling others to save Syria when I knew naught about anything that the Syrians were going through?
Troubled and deeply conflicted as I remembered the warning from the Qur’an of people who commanded others to do what they themselves did not, I reached out to a sister closest to me and poured out my emotions. She took my hand as my tears peppered her shoulder, and said,
“Alhamdulillah. Perhaps this is Allah’s way to remind you and to raise awareness in you? It’s never too late to start, sayang.”
And as I sit here, deeply immersed in reading articles after articles on the goings-on in Syria, all I could feel was my own irresponsibility and recklessness. Lulled by time and comforts, by my own nafs and its material wants, I had forgotten that the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. had said that the believers are like a body - if one part is in pain, then the whole body too will feel the pain.
So if Muslims in Syria, in Palestine, in Burma and in so many other parts of the world are in tremendous pain and under terrible oppression, and yet I do not feel a single pang of pain for them… just how much of a believer am I?
Allahu… May we have campaigns of awareness of the state of the Ummah in our own selves all the time, and may this awareness bear fruit to actions that will aid the Ummah even in the smallest of ways. And may Allah grant the smiling syahideens jannah for fighting in His cause…
(Helping my brother spread the love! Available only for Singaporeans!)
Reading up on my sister’s initiative, Project Ummi: Sheltering the Shattered, which seeks to collect donations for a welfare home for Muslim sisters and elderly Muslimahs on the brink of eviction in Selangor has motivated Noor Farhan and I to roll up our sleeves and contribute in the way we know we do best - wall art! :D
For a low price of $60 (of which $10 goes to paying for the materials and $50 goes to the welfare home), we will be more than happy to prep your walls for the coming Raya with calligraphy art (awak sorang nak baju raya baru? kesian tembok setiap tahun tak berbaju). Artworks can be done in English/Malay and certain Arabic phrases :)
Help us help you in this blessed month of Ramadhan, for indeed, Allah swt says
They ask you (O Muhammad) what they should spend in charity. Say: ‘Whatever you spend with a good heart, give it to parents, relatives, orphans, the helpless, and travellers in need. Whatever good you do, God is aware of it.’” - The Holy Quran, 2:215
For all enquiries, you can leave a comment or call me at 9229 3448, or Noor Farhan at 8100 6487. To just donate directly to my sister who is pooling the funds from Singaporeans, contact her via Whatsapp at +6 017 9919 869 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peace out and remember that every charity you give will be returned to you manifold by the Ar-Razzaq. Talk about scheme cepat kaya!
Muhammad Fauzi bin Wahid.
A Ramadhan 1433H project aiming to collect SGD$400 for a welfare home on the verge of eviction. To skip the story, scroll to the end for donation details. Jazakumullah khayr :)
Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim.
The lecture hall, buzzing with excitement moments before, grew quiet as Puan Victoria begun her presentation on the plight facing Pertubuhan Kebajikan Rose, a welfare home for Muslim sisters in need and elderly Muslim women in Selangor, Malaysia. As she moved from slide to slide, choking up as she relayed stories of the abuse and abandonment that her residents faced before being sent to the home, there was naught a dry eye in the hall; the sister behind me was even openly sobbing.
“Makcik Bontak is 79 years old, blind, bedridden and down with stroke. She was sent in by volunteers who found her in a shack, lying in her own urine and faeces,” Puan Victoria shared, her voice breaking, “She calls me Emak even though I am half her age, and would sing along with me as I feed her proper food, something which she has not eaten for the past 10 years.”
When she moved on to the next case of a diabetic coma patient, sent in after she was beaten by her youngest son with a wooden chair to the extent that her leg needed amputation, something nudged me that perhaps this was the cause that Allah swt wanted me to share with all of you this Ramadhan.
After last year’s Waqf Project: Giving Sight to the Blind which Alhamdulillah, raised SGD$3 000 and funded 10 braille Qur’ans, perhaps this year we could join hands in contributing, even if just $10, to the RM290,000 needed for the residents to continue recovering from their shattered lives in the hands of people who actually do care for them. The owner of the small rented home they are in had swindled them of their money, and the bank now wants to evict them by putting up the home for auction :(
Amidst the mishmash of emotions I was feeling throughout the presentation, one of them was shame… for what does it really say of ourselves, the Ummah, when Puan Victoria, a non-Muslim living in California, actually has to migrate back to Malaysia to help Muslim women who have been abused and abandoned by their own Muslim relatives?
My goal is simple and straightforward: Raise RM1,000 (approximately SGD400) together with all of you so that in this blessed month of Ramadhan, at least for a moment do we break from our daily Ramadhan routine and actually consciously strive to help a fellow Muslim in need if we have not already done so :)
Taking inspiration from a group of sisters in last Ramadhan’s Project Waqf, instead of just contributing on your own, you too could reach out to your family and friends and raise your own pool to add to the main pool of donations. (The sisters’ pool alone raised $610, masyaAllah!)
One of Allah’s attributes is the All-Merciful, and it is in our responsibility as khalifah to show mercy to His creations, especially those who are helpless and oppressed. As the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. said,
“A Muslim is a brother of another Muslim, so he should not oppress him, nor should he hand him over to an oppressor. Whoever fulfilled the needs of his brother, Allah will fulfill his needs; whoever brought his brother out of a discomfort, Allah will bring him out of the discomforts of the Day of Resurrection, and whoever screened a Muslim, Allah will screen him on the Day of Resurrection . “
With this, for those who are interested in contributing to this year’s small Ramadhan Project, please send me an email at email@example.com and I will send you the details, or leave your email in the comments and I will reach out to you. Malaysians with CIMB account can also donate directly to 1267-0000570108.
Contributions will be accepted until 11/08/2012 so that I can pass them to Puan Victoria before Ramadhan ends. For more information on the home, head over to their website.
May our deeds be accepted and multiplied in this blessed month of Ramadhan, and may our acts kindness be returned to us in our own times of need, insyaAllah :)
Sincerely, the struggling catalyst of Allah,
Nur Fadhilah Binte Wahid.
“Verily, God does not change men’s condition unless they change their inner selves…” [Qur’an 13:11]
May we make the conscious intention and effort to transform ourselves this Ramadhan, so that we may emerge as better servants of Allah at the end of it, insyaAllah :) Ramadhan Kareem!
I stood on toes, neck strained, trying to catch a glimpse of the group returning from Umrah. The air was thick with excitement and contained longing. All around, children ran freely, darting between legs and sitting atop of shoulders. Adults caught up, once in a while making exclamations as they meet a long lost friend, or two, or three, who so happens to have a family member or friend in that returning group as well.
I leaned back on the thin pole, my legs aching after more than an hour of standing behind the gates guarding the Arrival Hall. Between the men in white thobes and the women in their white prayer veils, it was pretty impossible to locate the face I have longed to set my gaze on the past two months.
My head turned in the direction of the high pitched squeal, in time to see a toddler wriggle free of her sister’s hold and walk (or attempted to walk, at least) towards the glass screen. Behind it a tall handsome man grinned from ear to ear, hands reaching out as if oblivious to the boundary between them. The little girl squealed again, clapping her hands, as her tongue continued uttering the same word, “Abi! Abi! Abi!”.
When her mother carried her in her arms, making her the same height as her father, she placed her palms on the cool glass, brought her face forward and kissed the glass. I could see the father holding back his tears, as he placed his palms aligned with hers, and his mouth where hers was.
I turned away, tears welling in my eyes. The crowd in the Arrival Hall was beginning to get bigger, as everyone gathered around the conveyer belt waiting for their baggages to parade on the rolling belt. I searched again, my heart thumping in excitement.
“There! There she is!”
And indeed there she was. As she exited the gates, breaking free of the glass walls that separated us, I ran to her, oblivious to those around me.
I held her in my arms as I held back the tears that were beginning to form. It was all so surreal. After all those years of her crying upon watching her relatives perform the umrah and hajj time and again, wishing that she could one day go, she finally had been called to be His visitor and there she was, today, in her white prayer veil, tears of happiness rolling down her cheeks after completing her first ever trip to Mekah, Madinah and Palestine.
Alhamdulillah. Rezqi is truly from Allah. If He wills something to happen, it will happen no matter if the whole world conspires against you. And if He wills for something to never happen, even if the whole world assists you, nothing will bear out of it.
“Excuse me, Miss, I understand you miss your mother, but we’re stuck behind you.”
I laughed, apologized and pushed the trolly laden with small gifts for family and friends, with blessings from the land of the Prophet s.a.w.. But still, amongst the handful of beautiful thobes and abayas, the scrumptious dates and nuts and the bottles of zam-zam… the best gift and blessing was right there beside me - my mother coming home.
Maaf, saya tak sanggup korbankan iman saya untuk satu hubungan yang kesudahannya masih belum pasti.
Saya tak nak hubungan yang terjalin berlandaskan nafsu.
Saya tak nak diri saya jauh dari Dia.
Saya tak nak ada jarak antara awak dan Dia.
Saya tak nak buat hubungan awak dan Dia semakin renggang.
Yang pasti, saya akan ingat awak dalam setiap bingkisan doa saya.
Terima kasih sebab pernah bagi dorongan.
Terima kasih untuk nasihat yang awak pernah beri.
Terima kasih kerana pernah hadir dalam hidup saya.
Semoga awak faham apa saya nak sampaikan.
Semoga Allah jaga awak.
somewhere on earth, 15062012. (via islahnafsi)
If you’re reading this . This is for You . Sama2lah kita kuatkan iman sambil mpersiapkan diri untuk mjadi yg tbaik yer,awakkk. Allah Maha Mgetahui, semoga awak sntiasa berusaha mjaga hati :’)
Exactly what am doing right now.(via idontriderollercosters)
That’s the real love triangle.
notice how there is no line connecting you and that special person?
well the thing is, you have to reach God first.
LOVE God so much that you draw closer to Him,
but the thing is… your special person must do the same until
you both reach God, and by God, be connected.
That’s the real Love
I have been spending my Friday evenings and nights over at Kak Lina’s for the Seeker’s Guidance programme, learning the text of Imam al-Ghazali - Mizan al-‘amal.
I don’t know what I look forward to more between helping out in the kitchen preparing food for all the members of the halaqoh, or stroking and talking to Tito the cat (who joins us in the halaqoh and takes breaks when we do) or the halaqoh itself with Kak Lina’s husband being the coordinator, what with the insane amount of knowledge he has.
Perhaps I just miss home really badly and to be in a proper home doing home-y stuff is good enough for the moment :)
Too often we say we want to meet the blessed Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. in our dreams, but do all our actions, our emotions, our love, reflect the words that pour forth from our tongue?
I recall a sufi tale, in which a man met a syeikh asking why he still hasn’t met the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. in his dreams. Throughout the whole meet up, the syeikh served the man a variety of salty dishes and withheld from him even a single drop of water. The man, out of adab as a guest, did not ask for a drink and retired to bed parched. That night, he dreamt of water, water gushing forth in torrents… of rivers, of waterfalls, of clear water just swimming around him.
The next day, the syeikh asked him how his sleep was and after being given the details of the man’s dream, the syeikh said something to the likes of, “If your want to meet Rasulullah s.a.w was even as much as your want to have a cup of water last night, perhaps you would be able to meet him.”
He is with whom he loves… does our love the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. even exceed the love we have for our material things, for our friends, for our family, and even for ourselves?