Thursday, March 31, 2011

the slow girl

you really wanna know what kind of girl i am in class?

im the slow one.

the one that gives the wrong answers.

the one who cant really think.

the one who panics when the teacher asks her a question.

i'm a very slow learner.

i have faith God will help me in the end insyaAllah because i work hard, for the right reasons.

Monday, March 28, 2011

True Charity



True charity remembers not only those in need who ask, but also those who are prevented by some reason for asking. The man of true charity seeks out the latter. There may be various reasons which prevent a man from asking for help: 1) he may be ashamed to ask, or his sense of honor may prevent him from asking. 2) he may be so engrossed in some great deal that he may not think of asking; 3) he may not even know that he is in need, esp when we think of wealth and possessions in a spiritual sense, as including spiritual gifts and talents; 4) he may not know that you possess the things that can supply his needs; and 5) he may be a dumb and helpless creature, whether a human being or a dumb animal, or any creature within your ken or power. Charity in the higher sense includes all help, from one better endowed to one less well endowed.
S 51

Translated by Abdullah Yusuf Ali

*********************************************
thank you for offering to help. though to you it may be small, to me, the difference is so great i don't know how to thank you :)

thank your for folding my clothes when i was busy.

thank you for offering to do my midwest work for me.

thank you for putting on minyak angin for me when i was sick hehehe.

geli la pulak mcm lesbo :p

let people know how nice you are, padan muka! hehe

********************************************

Friday, March 25, 2011

From Baha'i to Islam

My sister kak asma fwd me a story of her friend, Adam Fong. you should read it. it's long, but trust me, it's worth while :)

**********************************************************************

Insyallah, here I’ll share my conversion story with you. I was born a Baha'i, and Baha’ism rotten roots lies in Iran, the centre point of Shia Islam.

While i was growing up as a Baha’i, we were taught that there's a prophet after Muhammad (saw) has come to reveal scriptures after the Quran, and that we as Baha’is are the chosen ones of God. How cliché? Chosen ones... There's no prophet after Muhammad (saw) and Allah doesn't make mistakes.

In any case, we were always taught from a Shia perspective towards Islam, that Islam had degraded and hence the down fall of the Ottoman Empire in Turkey. Since there's degradation of Islam, hence there need to be a new religion, which was Baha'ism, my ex-religion.
Not too much on its way ward religion, but that's my history. We believed in a man, who posses’s Godly powers and that accepting him is our salvation. Very similar to Christianity, however ironically, this man, whose name is Hussain Ali claims to be the second coming of Jesus Christ. That's totally false and absurd, hence its being a way ward religion. Little did I know about this when i was a Baha'i, going on my life on my life oblivious to Islam.

During my time as a Bahai, i never really took religion seriously. It was more of a part time thing, as i grew up, studied in college and got myself into business when I was in my teens. So “God” was always put a side, like a lucky coin, needing it "as and when" i like. Ao zubillah, Ya Allah forgive me.

In the midst of all this, my brother, now Farihin was about to get married to his girlfriend who is now my sister in law, from Kelantan. This was very saddening towards my mom and dad as their son is about to accept Islam. The Islam we've been learning, that it has degraded, and that we "bahais" are having a better religion. So my brother converting to Islam is going against my family's beliefs. However my mom and dad did eventually gave in as my Farihin was the eldest in the family. At the same time my brother was also of the opinion that he's acceptance to Islam is only surface level and his intention is just to get married with my sister in law.

My father advised him to be honest in his religion and be faithful to Islam and that if he converted, he must adhere to Islam 100%, and do not be a half pass six Muslim. This was the advice of my late father to my brother. My mother was still reluctant to accept my brother had converted.

Eventually my brother got married and they moved out of the house. However my brother start to realize that Islam is not just a ticket to get married, he studied further and start to realize that Islam is true religion from Allah, the Creator.

So he started to come by the house and talk to us about Islam, showing us videos of Dr.Zakir Naik, "Science in the Quran", "Miracles of the Quran", "Muhammad in the Holy Scriptures". I was reluctant at first but i started to watch and learn slow, with my mother. My dad at the time was not bothered about my brother talking about Islam to us.

I always had this issue with Islam and Muslims being terrorist and cold blooded murderers. However my brother started to share with me the other side of Islam that no one talks about, that is about the prophet Muhammad peace and blessing be upon him, and started to show me ahadith and how was our prophet really was as a man, a person whom we'd learn how to live our lives. Then he showed me how his companions (sahabas), lived along side our prophet, protecting him, loving him, and obeying him as a prophet from Allah. Allah say’s that Muhammad is the best of creation and is a mercy to all the worlds. So its must be that Allah has sent him as a guide to us, and we should look to him for reference.

Because in our previous religion, the bahais took most of its teaching from Islam, then I discovered that what was taught to us as bahais, was infact taken from Islam and its way of life. A total rip off I’d say. And I was deeply angered at this fact, because 23 years of my life was just gone without knowing this fact.
I started to learn and read books from Dr.Zakir Naik, Ahmad Deedat, Gary Millar (Omar, his Muslim name), and many scholars of comparative religion. However I was still skeptical about Islam because I was also in a relationship with my girlfriend, who is now my wife. So didn’t want to convert because it was cause a dent in my relationship with my girlfriend who's a Christian, a Sunday church going Christian and Catholic I might add.

Allah in His absolute mercy and compassion, showed me the way into accepting Islam no matter what. I was driving to fetch Melissa to catch a movie, and i got myself into an accident. I smashed the front of my car into the rear of a Renault. I wasn't hurt however, wallahi, when i slam the breaks of my Wira, and felt the front of the car hit the other car, and it was as though I woke up from a dream. I didn't realize what had happen and i was so awe struck at what just happened. I couldn't believe it, because I’ve never been a in a wreck such as that, maybe minor dents and knocks, but not to the extend that my car would be totally damaged. I was of the impression before i was a Muslim that what happens to me is due to my own actions and there's no one that can do anything about it, even God. Astaghfirallah.

Farihin helped me and manage to settle my insurance claims and drove me back home. In the journey back, while I was pondering and just starring at the window of his car, my brother just blurted out "Didn't it felt like a dream?" I was stunned because i didn't mention to anyone. Then he started to tell me, that it was ignorant to think that everything was under my control, and that it was Allah who protected me from a worse accident. And that I was an ungrateful human being, because Allah has given me everything I needed, a house, a car, a girlfriend, loving parents, a good paying job and a good physical body, with no defects. Alhamdulilah, I wish I had said that when he told me this. I was at the lowest of low, when he said that, because i always had my ego with me. Ego didn't do me any good.

I felt very bad the next day and had walked to his house, which was a couple of blocks away and told him, "Ko (brother), can you teach me how to be grateful to Allah?". He said come in and take a shower, we'll pray together. That’s when I started to pray to Allah and the first time I placed my forehead on the ground in humility is when i started to realize what was my position in this life and it just brought me to tears that I’ve been so lost without guidance. Because of you realize, only a slave would place his forehead on the ground in humiliation towards his master. I started to pray 5 times a day, in secrecy. At work, at home. I didn't want to voice out my beliefs, because I was still learning and studying about Islam.

Melissa was with me all the way from the time of the accident and until i started to pray, however she didn't know I was praying as a Muslim. I didn't want to tell her about my beliefs. I was scared that she would dump me because of Islam. I started to learn about Islam from English speaking scholars, from PeaceTv, from videos which i downloaded from Youtube, from books translated into English, and i started to learn how to read Quran. I read a lot about Islam, and I started to learn about Christianity and its similarities with Islam. Because I wanted Melissa also to know about this “gold” I just found.

One fine day I broke the news to Melissa that I was a Muslim, that I’ve accepted Islam as my way of life. She was devastated, because she didn't anticipate my accepting Islam. Because she was a Christian she knew about Islam only from the tv, the newspaper, the community, and how many families broke up due to Islam. She was scared. And her mother had a lot to do with her belief. And her mother was a person with little tolerance towards Islam and she had a bad misconception of Islam by looking at our community and its black sheeps.

I started to share with her about Islam, its beauty, its way of life, it’s always having Allah in the mind, and not only on Sundays. Shared with her many things in the bible that shows that Islam is not the religion of Arabs, it was the way of life since Adam alaihisalam. That they were only sent as prophets to give the message of Islam, which is to submit to Allah with sincerity and peace. That is to worship Allah without any partners. Worship Allah alone, not a stick, a stone, money, a man, or a concept. I told her that Jesus in the bible never said to his follower "I am God, worship me". I questioned her, however she wasn't able to answer as I think she was a very obedient Christian not learned, in a sense that the knowledge is left to the preachers and the fathers in the church.

I was still with Melissa even though i was already a Muslim. Many people had told me to leave her and find for someone else who is a Muslim and that really angered me. I told me self, that if I ever go fishing I would catch the most difficult fish, easy fishes are not my cup of tea. I was being metaphoric as to tell them that I'm trying to share Islam with Melissa and I’ll wait for her until she is ready to learn and accept Islam. I showed her videos like "Who wrote the bible" by Dr.Robert Bedfort. I showed her videos from Dr.Zakir Naik, "Crucifiction or Crucifixted", Ahmad Deedat's talk about Islam and Christianity, and Yusuf Estes story about his conversion to Islam. Brother Yusus is a Christian minister, converted to Islam and now has his own Da'wah channel called GuideUS TV.

After seeing all these videos and she started to realize that Islam was the truth, and that her parents hold no status in telling her that she cannot convert to Islam and to accept the truth. I showed her how to pray, I taught her Al-Fatiha, and other short surah, all with Allah permission. I see a change in her, and Alhamdulilah she converted to Islam. Her parents never knew about her conversion as she was staying outside her house for a year before we got married. Allah had given her an avenue of accepting Islam without any problems, because she wasn't staying at home. No resistance from her parents because it wasn't to their knowledge.

Her parents soon got to know when we wanted to get married and we've made arrangement for them to come for our wedding. It was her mother who was against our marriage, however her father was not bothered if she was a Muslim or not, for him it was a matter of telling him our plans earlier.

We've been married for 2 years now and Allah has given us a gift, a daughter, Sofia. After we got married we never seize to visit her parents every weekend, to show that even being Muslims, Allah has commanded us to be dutiful to our parents, and that we cannot even say a word "ouff" to them. So as Muslims we strive to show silaturrahim towards our non muslims parents the best we can.

Maybe if you like, you can ask for her story, I think she'd be more than willing to share this story with you, and how she accepted Islam.
I'm ever grateful to Allah that my family including my mother has accepted Islam. My father unfortunately passed away 2 years ago. That in a way, made the way for my mother to accept Islam, as my mother was married to my father, even though she had accepted Islam in her heart and she was already a practicing Muslim.

Allah's promise is the truth indeed, and we should never be afraid when Allah is by our side. When Allah is our Rab, and our sustainer, who other than Allah can provide for everything in this world? Indeed Allah alone is the Provisioner. Accepting Islam from a non Muslim background is definitely challenging. Because of obstacles in our path, such as our parents, friends, and love ones. Some times its difficult to please everyone. However, if we please our Creator, Allah, He will make our difficulty easy and manageable. I thank Allah that he showed me the way into a way of life, that is more reserved and more easily understandable. Yes, we there are things which we cannot do after accepting Islam, however these are the things that keep us reserved and check at all times.

Do ask me if you’ve any question, and I do hope that my story is worth the read . Assalamualaikum.


***************************************************************************

Makes you rethink about yourself right?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Going Back


(illi, alyaa and lisia)

the nicest part about going for a vacation is that you get to get away from things, take a break, detach yourself from reality just for a little while.

the hardest part is accepting reality--accepting the fact that you need to go back home, to go back to your daily routines.

i just don't feel like i wanna go back to studying just yet.


(pancakes--made of bananas and kelapa)

i like walking around, watching tv and getting sleep for more than 8 hours. it's rezeki that i don't normally get on my daily basis in madison, WI.

but i guess i know that life needs to go on.

the people in Buffalo are just very warm.


(betty crocker's instant brownies--too die forrr!)

Yesterday, we hung out to celebrate Bobby's birthday. I met one of aiman's friend Aliff, before the celebration. my first impression of him was that he was so sweet and shy. but on that night, all of them cracked such funny jokes that i swear, i couldn't stop laughing! i was literally tired of laughing!! i guess you can't judge a book by its cover right?

by the way, i have been eating non stop since my first day of spring break. at first syaza stuffed me with her lasagna (okayla, im lying. im stuffing my own face with lasagna hahahahhahha). then, we had like a big arse lobster. then during my stay in buffalo, alyaa and illi have always been cooking for me.in my head i was thinking, 'oh no, i soooo need to hit the gym later on'.


(cake for bobby--at the backgroud you have cupcakes.....)

of course, there's another person who has been pampering me non-stop too...

at this moment, i totally fell reluctant to go back, to start school.

but i guess i should just take these experiences that i've been having as a way to rejuvenate myself to last through my busy semester! ahhahaha

really?

ok, let's try this one out.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My Week in Buffalo, NY



this is my third day in buffalo, NY. and i have to say, i like it.

of course nothing can beat madison. but i guess im enjoying my stay here because of the company.

i have to admit, everything is almost within walking distance in madison. i guess that's what i like most.



but whatever it is, i decided to give this place a chance hahahaha. i visited niagara falls, the shopping places, the campus etc.

i've been staying at alyaa's house and i have to say she is so darn nice, i think she's like my mom or something. syaza was like this too but i guess i didn't expect this from alyaa because we didn;t know each other at all before i came here. and her roomate is so sweet and nice too. they were so nice i felt guilty staying here for more than just a couple of days. i decided that we had to cook for them at least for a few days, so that they didnt have to burden themselves tending to me. and i was also suprised at her hospitality because she's younger than me.



oh yeah, syaza and rassyid asked me to sleep in their room while they slept in the living room. thank God i only stayed for a night! i would have felt sooo guilty staying there for more than a night. unfortunately, they were going to start their classes soon so i wouldn't be able to stay too long anyways.

but i guess this is what malaysian hospitality is all about. similiar to syaza, they didn't let me help much in the kitchen. i felt uneasy because normally when i went back to kelantan, my mom would cook breakfast + lunch + dinner and we'd be the ones to help. that was what we did most of the time when we went back. so just sitting down on the couch while the host cooks makes me feel as though i was rude, hahaha.

i have arabic homework to do, and i should start to research on my papers. oh right, and of course, i have midwest work to catch up on. i guess i'll do that tomorrow. i'll be going back to madison on saturday morning. yes, i know, one whole week away from home. this is a break and i think i really deserve it. i know when the school reopens, i'll be busy and get stressed all over again.

i'm just enjoying my break so much i hope i feel energized to continue on with the semester with more enthusiasm and not feel like i don't wanna go to class (sigh).

Monday, March 14, 2011

My One Night Stay in Pittsburgh


it's 746 am on a Monday morning. currently im in buffalo now, writing this post.

i decided that i should write all my memory down before i get too tired, before i forget. i think this vacay deserves one post for itself.

my flight to pittsburgh was okay. it was delayed only for a few minutes but i was still happy.

when i arrived in pittsburgh, it was a sunny day. pretty warm too. i felt stupid wearing boots and a coat.but then again i was happy that on the first day, we had good weather.



as i was waiting for syaza to pick me up at the bus stop, i was looking around, dragging my small luggage while notising that the enviornment in Pittsburgh. i have to admit (reluctantly) that it is a nice place. the buildings are intricately designed. it was a big city, but not too big like NY or anything. the downtown area had a lot of churches. then in my head i was thinking, are the people in pittsburgh relgiious or something?how come we don't have such big churches and cathedrals in Madison?



on the first night, we spent more time in syaza's house hanging out. she made really good lasagna and big succulent hot dogs. i'd have to stay, i think her lasagna was perfect. it wasnt dry nor bland. it was really good (and i'm not just saying this, i do really mean it). it had a good amount of everything.



later that night we played 'Kinect'. of course, as usual you can imagine i'm a crappy player when it comes to....wait...EVERYTHING. i looked really stupid and i was really stupid hahahahhahaa and they had a good time laughing at me. but it's okay, i'm used to being the center of entertainment (due tue my own stupidity that is). it felt like old days, where people weren't so afraid of me and where people enjoyed making fun of me all.the.time.



after playing kinect, all of us watched a scary movie entitled 'the orphanage'. it was a slow but good movie. everyone seemed to undertsand the ending except for me hahaha.biase la tu.


the next day, we walked around downtown. it was pretty cold and windy the next day but yeah, who cares. i enjoyed walking around, looking at the different architecture of things. syaza (and aiman too) enjoyed playfully putting down madison. i didnt mind because yeah, i guess physically madison doesnt have much to offer-- like we dont' have skyscrapers and well, nothing interesting to tourists.

but no matter what people would sat about madison being just a farm village or whatever, i still take a lot of pride in being a badger. its' the experience you get here, from the things you do, and the people you hang with. the excitement is in the subtleness of the place. whatever it is, i just love it here <3



back to the point.

later for lunch we went to joe's crabs. and guess what we ordered? jeng jeng jeng...

L-O-B-S-T-E-R!!!!!



and i had one whole bymyself muahahahhahahahhahaa.

it was $40 for 2 lobsters and shrimps and clams. and MasyaAllah, it was sooooo delicious. i was so happy i think i wanna write how i feel in Arabic hahahahhaa.

but yeah, the meat was sooo juicy and delicious. i didnt give a @$#$#$ about looking ladylike while cracking the lobster. all i wanted was the food hahahahhaha.

Alhamdulillah, i enjoyed my stay in Pittsburgh.

that was just the beginning of my spring break. wait until i write about my stay in Buffalo :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Keeping Quiet

my parents have always told me if i don't understand something,go straight to my teacher.

if something is unclear ask my teacher.

i've always been the type that seeks help from my teachers especially here since sometimes I feel like i can't catch up and because sometimes i don't have friends in my classes to explain to me the vague concepts.

especially this semester, i haven't missed a class because i'm afraid if i do miss, then i won't be able to catch up.sometimes i sooo hate reading the thick books, i'd rather go to class and listen to what the teacher has to say.

lately, i've been a little lost in one class. learning a different language isn't easy, let alone if the instruction in class is in the language itself.

unfortunately, i'm a slow learner but because of that, it drives me to work hard. if i don't understand something, i always ask my teacher.

since i've been having difficulty understanding the materials, i saw my teacher and honestly confessed my concerns to him. i was being completely honest with my problems and thank God, he understood (i think).

and so ever since then i've been asking Qs. but they weren't that many. but somehow i think i come across as annoying to my teacher. or maybe i offended him. i don't know.

yes, sometimes i do get stressed in class if i don't understand something. if i don't understand something, it kind of annoys me. i ask my friends and soemtimes they dont know. or sometimes i just ask them because i'm curious.

but now i guess i shouldn't. at least i should try not to.

i just feel like i bothered him.

i'm sad. i want to learn arabic and i really wanna do well that's why i'm concerned even though to my teacher it's small. but i don't think i'm the only one. other people have the same trouble too it's just that they ask their previous teachers but i can't do that because she's teaching something else. i definitely know i'm not the only one.

somehow now i feel like my concerns with arabic is just silly.

at least im trying. though it may not show because maybe i look spaced out in class, which sometimes i am. sometimes, it can get pretty intense. i'm also a little intimidated by my friends and if course my instructor too.

i think i'll just keep quiet now.

Monday, March 7, 2011

3 midterms.

one tomorrow.

2 on tuesday. they're back to back, by the way.

but at least i'll get to go to pittsburgh then buffalo.

and before that i get to see lils.

so it's like a mini reunion, with dumb obstacle that i have to go through first.

but eventually it will be okay, right?

i just need to crack my brain open.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Graduate School...



i'm sad.

why is that?

because i think im not doing so well in arabic as compared to last year (or any other subject for that matter).

just let me complain.

i wish i had more time to spend on it like last yr but it i just dont have that much time anymore. with work, MSA, Midwest Games and my other hardcore subject like POLI SCI 618 (political islam) i'm trying hard to balance all these things.

with a different teacher, things are different. im happy that he pushes us more and things are more challenging, and also the fact that i'm definitely speaking more arabic now than before but i don't know...i just feel a little lost at times.

maybe things will be better as time passes.

i so want to do my graduate studies here but with these grades of mine, honestly it seems almost impossible. 3.5 in this school is nothing :(

maybe after my degree, i'll just go home and do what everyone else is doing.