“IN THE STATE OF SHUKR” – Webinar


Assalamualaikum and Ramadan Kareem to my brothers and sisters in Islam.

This is a blessed month where we can’t let lose opportunities to better ourselves, and this is one of the platform by Al Maghrib to assist us in understanding ourselves, and the chaos which are still within us — showing and engaging in gratitude and humility as we continue with the struggle between arrogance and ego. Much have been heard and understood between the relationship of arrogance/ego and gratitude/humility, and this is a universal thing not limited to just Islam, as a way of life.

 

There will be many respected and renowned speakers who will be speaking at the webinar, per mentioned in the poster below.

 

Note to South East Asian folks (Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia etc), we’re +8 UTC (time zone), while in New York where the live webinar will take place, they’re -4 UTC, which makes it a 12 hours difference. So 3pm New York on 11 June 2017 Sunday, we will be at 3am on 12 June 2017 , Monday morning. Suggest you stay up for a bit after tahajood, or wake up earlier for sahur to catch this webinar at the convenience of your own home.

If you are a non-Muslim just curious to know what do Muslim talk about when we talk about gratitude and thankfulness, feel free to join the webinar at no cost 🙂

Registration/spot reservation page here

This event is partnered with Islamic Relief.

 

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Help spread the word by sharing this with your friends and beloved ones so that they too can join and also spread the word, InsyAllah.

missjewelz

9 June 2017

Kuala Lumpur

A missJeweLz reflection..


2004

My first blog entry was not too long ago. I started writing (in 2004) as a past time whenever I am not listening to lectures or having a date with a thick medical text book. Plus the free access to the computer lab (oh uni days..). Basically the IT lab guy can already familiarize himself with the regular lab visitors. I would not say that writing keeps me going, or as another realm of ‘escapism’ as some would call it. Well, when you write and express yourself through writing, you are utilising the ‘outlet’ of spilling and sharing what you sense, perceive and comprehend. The reason of why you are doing so, is secondary.

Bukan zaman batu bersurat

Before there was email, I used to write home. Boarding school did not allow students to bring handphones. Mine was with mum anyways, only given to me during school break. So, apart from calling home from the public phone (which I was an on-off regular), mum and I went for the pen and paper. We do exchange letters often 🙂 1996, to 1998 and 1999.. I was writing letters every other day. Either to mum, a few pen pals which I had that time, or my ex school/college mates. Memang kerja menulis surat je lah. Masa prep pon nak tulis surat. Dapat result SPM, BM dapat A2… mana tak frust.. haahaa.. anyways, those were the days.. If the head girl in school had the most letters in the mail box, I would be the 2nd top letters receiver.  That’s where I normally stop by after class. To see if my letters have arrived 🙂 And every time it does, there’s a sense of satisfaction which keeps me wanting to write more and more. I am not an A class writer (as you can obviously see). But I just like to write, and communicate this way. Words spoken dies fast, though some of them are retained and remains as legacies in our brains, and memories. Words that affects emotions, are normally the ones which lasts. Words that you write and blog about, remains for all to see. Serves like an online diary sometimes, though I have yet to ‘compile’ what I’ve blabbered about these past 8 years..

0-30 years…

I will be turning (ehem) 30 this coming August. If I were to look back (which I will definitely lah!), I’ll check out the milestones which I have passed through my humble 3 decades of living. Memories that lives with the people whom you’ve grown up with, the grandma stories which your parents and kindergarden/primary school mates tell you, of how you were the naughtiest girl/boy in school.. Then comes the old photos stock that your family keeps of you.. and those few that you have scattered somewhere in your house.. Then comes the small scar which you used to show off to friends while sharing how ‘heroic’ you being able to withstand the fall, and went home without telling your parents.. Oh LOL.. I went home with two ‘horns’ bruises bulging out from my forehead. Thought I could conceal them by applying Vicks on my fringe. Unfortunately the tactic didn’t work as my mum noticed it too soon. I had to admit that some boys were throwing stones at each other and I got struck by not 1, but 2 stones. Thank you St Johnians. Those were some hard powered memories I shan’t forget for the rest of my life.

The little rascal right there with her tuition teacher circa 1991-1992.. mmg retro betul my teacher kan..? (apparently she is also related to me, and came for my wedding earlier this year !). And yes, I am a CBNer through and through.

Orang besi

Fast forward 16 years later.. It was my triathlon and multisports heyday (and not ‘hayday’ <<– so I just found out !).. I have had the time of my life ! No seriously, my journey through these few years being involved in triathlon had been nothing but incredible. I would not say my family supported me 100% as I was also studying the first few years. Nevertheless, I made it through both, alhamdulilllah. My maiden Ironman (and only 1 so far) was completed a year before I graduated. Fast forward to 2012, the record has yet to be broken. Just 1 Ironman, and no biggie about it. 13hrs 42mins, with a 5hr 10mins marathon within that. Garu kepala jugak fikir2 balik, how da heck did I do that. Nak seribu daya, tak nak seribu dalih. To go for such distances, one has to be humble. H.U.M.B.L.E. If tak faham omputeh, its called ‘rendah diri’. Respect the sports, the game and the people who’ve completed them. I learnt it my own personal way… I did not ”announce” then ‘Hey I am doing Ironman !’.. or 1/2 IM.. I took it my own pace (and patience) to go through the series of distance before I was physically and mentally ‘matured’ enough for this might of an event. 2007 was my sprint tri – year. 2008, on to OD. End of 2008, did my first half-Ironman distance in Desaru, and walla, 2009, Feb 28 — IM Langkawi. I can’t describe in typed words how I felt crossing. But if I can numb-ly put it.. it was ‘Now what?’.

Pakcik kat background tuh mmg epic.. I can’t erase him from my IM memory now..*sigh*

Mengenangkan..

I took a step back.. and wondered, napa pulak la macam blur ni.. am I suppose to jump in joy, or tears..? I did none of that. Smiled for the camera while posing with the Powerbar towel, and IM medal. It was all about the journey, in the end, that matters. The journey to, as well as journey through. My milestones are set by my journeys, and not necessarily the destinations.

But this one was an exception.. both the journey and destination was a big deal. 🙂 Tioman oh Tioman.

Its the beauty… bukan black beauty..

So to all of you embarking on running, or any kind of multi-sports, please, please, savour every moment of it. Talking big, or showing off whatever you need to show off just takes the beauty of your experience/journey away. Be true and sincere to yourself even if you think that running a PB every time you run, and being able to go on the podium slash beat your training rival is all that you care. If I care the same, I would have listed all my races, how many medals I have had etc. Tapi buat apa kan, bazir masa je.

My Rita which ran away.. my black Syrian hamster which manage to bite its way through the metal cage.

Thank You

Truly, I had the time of life doing triathlons and other sporting events for the past few odd years. (and will continue to do so,insyaAllah) It was made even more meaningful by the beautiful people and souls which I’ve passed along, including those who have passed on.. The late Ngae, TSB, and many more.. To all who’ve given me the inspiration to do better, and challenge myself to achieve the impossible, thank you. Salah silap tolong maafkan. Halalkan semua makan minum. Aku bukan nak gi mana ni.. nak gi tido dah coz already 11.30pm. Esok gotta wake up early coz ada program HKL. Then at night, ada Larian Bentuk (Shape Run da..). And plenty of rest time in between. Okay? bak kata Zulhassan, larian geli-geli. So wa pon nak lari geli2 malam esok with the rest of ya. Whoever is going, insyaAllah, see you there ! Sesiapa pergi Ipoh Century Ride (dan menyempat lagi singgah missjewelz.worpress), good luck ye. Sapu sunblock banyak sikit.

Good night people.

-missjewelz-

Photo taken this afternoon (12/7) during lunch break with Jaja @ kak Pah at the 1 and only Kudu !

Its not about the mud cake .. but how the mud cake got on the shoe.. hehe.. photo from Sabah Adventure Challenge last year 🙂

Ramadhan Reflections


Activities

I have been asked by a number of friends that I should write on how to train during Ramadhan… and it is already past half way of this holy month ! Will do that in my next post insyaAllah. My training have been minimal. Cycle less than twice a week, run..? So far..none… Swim..? none.. Been busy with work, sorting out things other than work, i.e. life. What else.. oh yeah, spending more time with the family, having berbuka (breaking of fast) with them followed by prayers. Ramadhan bazaar visit? Only once. Itu pun kebetulan I was in that area Shah Alam) where Paan’s mum opened a stall. So I dropped by. Paan, daging salai masak lemak cili api tuh, memang sedap. Ada lagi?! hehe.. So whoever is planning to visit the bazaar at the Stadium Shah Alam open car park, check out the food at this stall ok? Stall number 201 ‘Masakan Kampung Kak Ina’

 

It’s Not All About Refraining from Food & Drinks

In the Malaysian context (the least that I am accustomed of), whenever the word fasting or puasa is mentioned, we normally would relate it to ONLY refraining from food and drinks from dusk till dawn.. Whereas the actual meaning in Islam encompasses a significance and definition much wider than that. The same way Islam is not just a religion, but a way of life. Ramadhan is like a ‘bonus’ month where all hell-gates are closed, and the heavens gates opened. It is a month where all good deeds are rewarded double, triple or more compared to other months. It is also a month where all satan, and jinns are tied and prisoned. What is left for us Muslims is just the ‘raw’ us. Want to evaluate yourself? There is no other timing than this month. Allah has given us this month to prove ourselves worthy to Him by engaging in acts that brings us closer to Him. So why not take this opportunity?


Pillars of Islam


Fasting during Ramadhan is one of the 5 pillars in Islam. The other 4 include shahada (creed), prayers, almsgiving (zakat) and hajj (at least once in a lifetime). These are the basic acts of a Muslim. The act of doing these acts will have the person rewarded by Allah, and of course not merely by doing it — none of the 5 mentioned acts are just physical acts. They are also (and more importantly) spiritual in every sense. It is each and every one of us Muslim’s responsibility to understand this. I won’t delve into the matter deeper as I do not have the credibility to talk much of this topic. But I would be selfish if I didn’t share some of my thoughts and the little knowledge that I have. Sekadar renungan dan peringatan kepada semua. I am not perfect, neither are you. While some of us, insyaAllah, engage ourselves in daily prayers and fasting during Ramadhan, do we remind ourselves that we also shouldn’t be backbiting ? We shouldn’t be gossiping away, or engage in empty talks during our free time now that we are skipping breakfast, lunch and tea !

Do we not remember that Ramadhan is the best month to spread love and peace to all those around us no matter what background, race or religion they come from , and in that sense the perfect month to KILL hatred? Do we remember that as much as we want Allah to forgive our previous sins, we should also be more forgiving, helpful, kind .. and all good deeds and value that you can list here. So, that’s why Ramadhan is not a month solely refraining from makan and minum. Bersederhana, berjimat and not buying more that we need for berbuka. If you have a lot of left overs in your fridge which end up in the trash, then its time to buy lesser. Its a month of ‘training’ and practice so that it becomes a habit for the coming months before we reach another Ramadhan.

 

Invest and train for the akhirah


A Muslim would know that life does not end when our soul parts from the physical body. In fact, the start of an eternal life in the hereafter starts when our worldly life ends. Hence, that balance of how we should be living our lives in terms of values, objectives and goal should be clear and in line with the religious values that have been taught to us Muslims. While not all of us are privileged to learn religious knowledge when we were young, it is still our responsibility to seek and learn these fundamentals. We are never too old to learn, and age should not be an excuse for us not to pick up that book and read..


We invest $$, time, and energy on material things and our worldly life.. We spend hours out there working, or.. if you’re a sports person, training. Preparing for a race for instance, takes commitment. The bigger and the important the race, the bigger commitment it takes. Take the ultra marathon of 100km for example. Memang cukup rapi persiapan nya. [note: again, this is a reminder to myself and all of my Muslim friends out there]. From the reference and readings that we look up to get the best training program, the planning out of training schedule, the $$ spent on gears, apparels and sports nutrition to the hours taken for training (including travel time)..The effort to train at night or early morning, the planning to organize that trip to Singapore for the race.. That’s a lot of commitment..


If we can to this extent prepare for a triathlon/duathlon/running event, can we not do the same for OURselves.. for the akhirah. Our well being in akhirah is not determined by how strong we are at running, how many hours we clock for that 10km run, or how much we invested on that Bianchi frame. Or even what reward our receive at work. So the discussion focus here is akhirah. Fine if you can clock a 30mins for a 10km or 2:15 for an OD tri. In fact, I would want to better poor timing. BUT… do I balance my eagerness to participate in sports with my willingness to invest, train and work for a good if not excellent akhirah. And you? If you are willing, then Alhamdulillah. And if not, it is not too late. Islam is a way of life. Its ummah has to be excellent in all aspect of their lives. We, human being, have to work hard in achieving our goals. Not everybody is born with a silver spoon in his/her mouth, and even then that does not give us any right to boast or be proud of our worldly status, titles and pay cheques. Be humble.


Work hard. We reap what we sow.

There is Quranic verse which I would like to share here :

“O man! Verily, you are returning towards your Lord with your deeds and actions (good or bad), a sure returning, so you will meet (i.e. the results of your deeds which you did).”

(Surah al Inshqaq/ The Sundering 84:6 )


We work hard not only for the world, but also the akhirah. If we work hard for the good things with good intentions, insyaAllah, good is what we get. If yang jahat yang kita niatkan, dan jahat yang kita lakukan, ternyatalah yang jahat itu kita dapat. While not all rewards are gained consciously here on earth, I believe Allah’s Blessings are continuous, in all forms or sizes. Sometimes invisible Its the matter of how humble we are as khalifah and servants of Allah. Every blessing counts, the way how each and every single minute of our deed counts. One may not be happy with a RM1000 t-shirt from Hugo Boss or a RM8000 hand bag from Chanel.. and in fact, continues on to ask for more. This kind of person is more a fakeer than an actual poor person. And then complains that the oak dining table is not big enough and hence, the ‘need’ to buy another one. The line between need and want becomes blur. Islam teaches us to work hard so that it can ease our lives on earth so that we can concentrate on our mission as khalifah on this earth, and becoming the best of nations, insyaAllah. Islam does not encourage its ummah, to be boastful or not thankful for whatever advantages and richness that they have. In fact, one should be more humble.

While there is this concept of prayer and tawakal in Islam, that only compliments our hard work and perseverance. In my opinion, it is not right that we go around chanting how life is treating us badly, or how unlucky we are just because we don’t have what other people have. Work hard, earn a living that we can be comfortable and bersyukur (thankful of), praying and praising the Lord every time we reap that reward. When hardship befalls us, its the only reason that we need to strengthen our faith and work harder. We cannot be reliant on helping hands forever.  Can we? So remember whenever you help 1 person, make sure you do it in a way which teaches that person to help themselves better.

I am no preacher

Lost in the indulgence of judging other people for their flaws, we normally and sometimes almost unintentionally forget to look, reflect and evaluate our OWN selves. I have lived with this 1 simple ethical principal : ‘LABELS ARE FOR JARS. NOT HUMAN’. Some people love to go about labelling people this and that, unaware how this simple act of hatred (especially when it is a negative label) is eating themselves. We do not realize, that not only it is sinful to condemn one person just for the sake of condemning, but far worse than that, he or she fails to better him or herself than the person who was being condemned. I am not a preacher, in fact I have a long way to go as a learner, student of life and a person. Think of yourself? Are you good enough? How prepared are you for the akhirah? It is never too late to start. Start reflecting, start learning and start acting. May Allah Guide us to the correct and righteous path. Amen.

RAMADHAN REFLECTIONS (PDF)

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