Thursday, 13 January 2011

My pre-school most embarrasing moment

While watching tv last night my nine years old daughter saw a Play-Doh advertisement and was so amazed with how the children moulded and turned the colourful plasticine into ice-creams and cakes for their doll houses. She started to beg and later went extreme to bug me to buy that Play-Doh set for her.

"No way. I am not going to buy you that toy. You are too old for such a thing. End of story." I had to raise my voice a wee bit higher just to indicate my seriousness. With a sour face, she went to her grandmother and sat beside her at the sofa. My mother, who has been observing us from the beginning, patted her head and said,

"You know what, Aliya? Your mom had a bad experience related to plasticine when she was very young. I think she doesn't want the same thing to happen to you. I suppose that's why she refused to buy one for you."

"What kind of experience?" Aliya seemed to be interested to know.

I scratched my cheek. Bad experience? Me? When? How come I don't remember anything about it? I am interested to know, too!

"When your mom was only six, I sent her to a kindergarten not so far away from home. She was so happy to go to the kindergarten and meet lots and lots of friends there."  My mother paused, as if trying to remember something.

"Your mom used to have beautiful long hair with nice fringe. I normally tied her hair with a white ribbon and she was the loveliest girl in class. All the teachers loved her. But having said that, I must tell you that she is also a very, very naughty girl. She loved to show off her beautiful hair to other pupils. She thought she was a princess."

"One day, the teacher gave the pupils some plasticines to play with. Wanna know what your mom did with her plasticine?" Mom asked Aliya.

"What did she do?" Aliya asked eargerly, now already sat on her granny's lap without realising it.

Mom smiled at me. Oh yeah! Now I remember that incident! The most embarrasing moment in my childhood life! Oh mom! Please stop! Don't tell my daughter about it.... pleaseeeee........

But she continued....

The wonders of plasticine....Formula towards a trendy hair style... hahaha!

"Your mom pasted the whole bunch of those plasticine on her fringe and forehead, pretending that they were colourful hair pins. The she danced in the class, trying to attract the teachers' attention."

Another pause. Aliya waited patiently for her grandmother to continue.

"Of course she managed to get the teachers' attention. But they were not amused. Instead, they gasped to see the plasticine hanging on her fringe. Your mom was really in a sticky situation when she could not take off the plasticine from her hair. At the end of the day, she was pretty covered up with colourful, dirty plasticine on the forehead."

Aliya grinned.

"So at the end of the session, she hid herself in the locker. She was afraid I would scold her for what she has done. The teacher persuaded her to come out but she refused. They have to call me to fetch her"

"By the time I arrived at the kindergarten, all but the teachers had gone home. Finally she came out of the locker, but, masya-Allah!" mom raised her eyebrows towards Aliya.

"What happened, granny?"

"While she was in the locker, she found a scissors and cut her fringe short, so as to eliminate the plasticine evidence. But she cut it too short, her scalp was widely exposed!!"

"Hahahahaha....." Aliya rolled on the sofa, laughing hysterically. Argh! Like father like daughter!

"What happened then, granny?"

"I took her home, of course. But that was the last time she went to the kindergarten. She refused to continue school afterwards. She quit. Your mom's pre-school session lasted only for five days."

I can't blame my daughter for enjoying the story. I smiled myself. Come to think of the incident, I was so silly to have cut my fringe like that. Owh! Really, really silly! As a consequence, I have to hide myself in the house, always made sure that none of my friends saw me in this condition. Mom always encouraged me to come out, but I told her,

"I'll only come out of the house when my fringe grows back to normal"

Of course that took ages to happen......


By the way, I'll be away (offline) till the end of this month to settle some errands. Insya-Allah, will be back in February. Till then, take care and don't be naughty (like me!). Smiles!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

There was once this beautiful lady...

It all happened last year in Masjidil Nabawi, the masjid of the Prophet Muhammad salAllahu 'alaihi wasallam in Madinah. I was waiting for 'Asr adhan. I was a bit tired and sleepy, but my heart kept telling me this is not the best time to doze and my mind kept warning me to stay awake. I took the Qur'an from the shelves in front of me, tried to read some surahs, but my concentration failed me, the tajwids all went wrong, so I stopped immedately. I went back to my place and recited some zikr.

At one point I thought I heard someone talking beside me. I turned to see a young lady talking to an older lady about something. She was trying to explain something while gesturing it with both her hands, once in a while touching the feet of the elder, but the elder looked puzzled. After several minutes of observation, I finally understood the situation:

A young Pakistani lady was talking to an older Turkish lady about something.

The Turkish lady did not understand the Pakistani lady as she was speaking in her mother's tongue. This was shown clearly on the face. But the nice thing about her was that even though she had no idea what the Pakistani lady was talking about, she kept smiling and nodding her head as a sign of respect and friendship.

I was watching them with interest when suddenly the Pakistani lady turned just to catch me unguard. I instantly lowered my gaze to the floor, ashamed that she caught me listening to her conversations.

"Oh! I wish someone could understand me!" Frustrated, she sighed softly, more to herself, but loud enough for me to hear it.

"I understand you. Pretty well if you speak English" I said slowly, unsure of her respond. Who knows, she might suddenly snap at me.

She turned to stare at me and I saw her big, beautiful eyes. But Oh! Ya Allah! What have I said? Why did I intervene? Oh! Me and my big mouth!!!

"You can speak English! You understand me?" She held my hands. She was so excited. I smiled in relief and nodded. I simply can't put my eyes away from her. She has such a fair complexion.

"Alhamdulillah! For many days since I arrived in Madinah, I have not been able to talk to anyone but my own people. Most of these pilgrims only speak Arabic so it's been hard to communicate with them" She smiled. Masya-Allah, she has beautiful white teeth too!

"My name is Farida. I am from Karachi" she was still holding my hands when she said this.

"I am Ati, from Kuala Lumpur" my turn to introduce myself.

Within a few minutes afterwards, I learned that she is a doctor. I mean, a real medical doctor who can prescribe controlled medicine to patients in hospitals. Well, I am a doctor-to-be too, but I can't prescribe any medicine to anyone, unless the person wish for suicide. (hahaha...! who would like to try?) When I asked her what was it all about with the elder Turkish lady who sat next to her, Farida told me she was trying to help the lady who happened to have swollen legs, most probably due to her plumpy figure and the fact that she walks a long distance everyday. She was trying to tell the lady that putting her feet higher than the body when she rest at night will help her reduce the swelling, but the elder lady seemed not to understand her at all.

"I have tried to explain to her in English, but she just stared blankly at me. I then talked to her in Urdu, and I know she did not understand it either. Now I give up". We giggled quietly. Surprisingly, the elder lady suddenly joined us and giggled together though she did not understand anything. From that instance, the three of us became friends. Instant friends, like my favourite "Nescafe 3 in 1" drinks.

True indeed, it was such a pleasure to make new friends with other pilgrims from different backgrounds, here, at the Masjidil Nabawi. But of course it was sad too that right after the Maghrib prayer Farida had to leave us to join her husband for dinner. She finally revealed that she was married for only two months and that they both decided to perform umrah for their honeymoon. Masya-Allah, sweet!

We did not exchange contact details. We can't. For those who have been in Masjidil Nabawi, they would know how strict the rules are about bringing in personal belongings into the masjid. So we did not have anything in hand to record contacts. We just hugged and hoped to see each other again the next time, but of course that did not materialise. Till the day I departed for Makkah, I was still hoping to meet Farida one more time in the masjid, but amongst the sea of pilgrims, I knew that was impossible.

Nevertheless, I'll never forget this beautiful lady with kind heart. May Allah protect her always and help her save thousands of lives as she performs her tasks dutifully, lillahi ta'ala.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Trying my luck for Amouage

An Arabian Amouage, all the way from Germany?

As far as I can remember, the last time I bought a perfume for myself was about 14 years ago! Yes, you read that right, 14 years ago.... *Gosh! That makes me feel old and tired* The best perfume I have ever bought was Champs-Elysees by Guerlain. I was so crazy about it and love it soooooo much. Other than that, I used to have Giorgio Armani, CK Eternity Moment, Issey Miyake, and many more.

Anyway, like I said, that was 14 years ago when I was slim, beautiful, had strong backbones and no wrinkles. I stopped my hobby of collecting perfumes the moment I met my husband. Such a huge distractions!

But now I am tempted to try my luck on the samples giveaway by bosnishmuslima.  I have never tried any Arabian perfumes. Eager to get to know one. If Allah wills it, I'll get the sample sent to me all the way from Germany. Sounds like fun!

Check out her blog to find out what is offered. You can participate too! Deadline is on January 20th, 2011.  Have a go at it. Good luck!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Inna lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji'oon

Yes, we say this statement when someone dies. Also some of us may say this sentence when they lose something, suffer a setback or harm. But do we know what it means?

Sure, everyone knows that it obviously means 'To Allah we belong and to Him is our return.'

But do we REALLY, TRULY understand these words and their implications in a Muslim's life?

It means ...Whatever we have is not really ours. It belongs to Allah.

Take a look around you; everything you see, all that you have and all that there you, on you, around you....belongs to Allah, alone. It is Allah Who has given you all the property and goods you possess, and that He is the true Owner of them all.

So the cars that you own, the houses that you live in, the businesses you possess all truly belong to Allah. The kids that He blessed you with, the health that He gave you, the time that He has allowed you are all Allah's property. Even the bodies we live in and the life that we have belongs to Allah alone.

"And to Allah belongs the inheritance of the heavens and the earth...."
(Surah Aal-Imraan:180)

"The kingdom of the heavens and the earth and everything in them belongs to Allah. He has power over all things." ( Surat al-Ma'ida: 120)

'Say: 'To Allah belongs the East and the West...'
(Surah al-Baqarah:142)

Now, since everything belongs to Allah, then we have to include even our souls in that list..

The very souls that we think of as our "self"; our "nafs"; our "being" -- whatever you want to call it -- that very thing that distinguishes you from the rest of the world, belongs to Allah. It's not YOURS.

In fact, YOU are not YOURS. You belong to Allah.

And this is the essence of the concept of TAQWA to Allah in Islam.

And since He is the true Possessor of everything, and everything is His property, He allots what He wills to whomever He wills... and then He takes it away. After all, it was Allah's to begin with. So He may give you some thing and then take it back after a while..

He will bless you with a precious child that you love dearly...and then He may take it away.
He will grant you money, honour and status.....and then He may take it away.
He will give you youth, vitality and health and then surely He will take it away.
In fact everything you have will only be with you for a very short while.
And then the Owner will claim His Right.

So when Allah does reclaim what was rightfully His, WHY MOURN OUR LOSSES?

Just like a friend who lends you his book. And then after a few days, he wants it back and you give it back to questions asked. Similarly, if Allah takes back some of His blessings upon you for some be it. Say Alhamdulillaah. Don't grieve. Be patient. Submit to the will of Allah, being pleased with His decision for you. For surely He will only do what is best for you. Just think.....The Owner came and took it back.

Remember....that you're not the real were NEVER the real owner to begin with. You only had everything because it was Allah who gave it to you in the first place. If He didn't give it to you, you wouldn't have had it in any fact, you couldn't have had it. enters into this world empty handed...and leaves it empty handed.

Remember....that everything we have, all the blessings we enjoy, are gifts from Almighty that we enjoy for a limited period until He takes them away whenever He deems fit. They are a trust from Allah...a loan to see how you respond to these gifts from Allah and how you use the obedience of the Almighty, thanking Him and worshipping the disobedience to the One Who gave then to you in the first place.

Take note of the words of the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) on the occasion of the death of his son, Ibraahim:

'Our eyes are filled with tears, our hearts with grief, but we say nothing with our lips except that which pleases Allah.... Verily, to Allah we belong, and to Him we return.' (Bukhaari)

And we all know the famous incidence about the companion Abu Talha and his wife when one of the sons died and Abu Talha was not at home. She washed and shrouded him and when Abu Talha came home and asked about his son, she said,

'The child is quiet and I hope he is in peace....' (Bukhaari)

Subhaan Allaah....such patience! And such Imaan in the statement "Inna lillaahi wa inna ilayhi Raaji'oon"!

She truly understood its meaning and the affect it should have on her life as a Muslimah, submitting to him and being pleased with whatever He has decreed for her. She knew that whatever she has, is not truly hers. Rather, it is Allah's....and He took back whatever He owns at its appointed time. And it is because of this Imaan so strong, this understanding, that the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) made doa for them and Allah blessed them immensely.

 "They (i.e. Abu Talha and his wife) had nine sons and all of them became reciters of the Quran (by heart)." (Bukhaari)

"Be sure we will test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives, but give glad tidings to those who are steadfast, who say when afflicted with calamity: 'To Allah we belong and to him is our return.' They are those on who (descend) blessings from Allah and mercy and they are the once that receive guidance."
(Surah Al-Baqarah: 155)

__  |  __  |  __  |  __ | __  |  __  |  __  |  __  |  __  |  __  |  __  |  __  |  __  |  __ |  __  |  __

Ya Allah! Ya Rabbi! I pray I could be as strong and patient as the wife of Abu Talha... forgive me, ya Allah, for I have sinned. Bless me, ya Allah, and protect me from the torture of hell. Verily, to You I belong, and to You I return. Ameen.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Baby porcupine goes to Little Caliphs today

My naughty baby porcupine...!

It's actually a kidergarten. She's only 4 years old.

I prepared her bag this morning. There's no textbook or stationary or anything like that. I just packed some clothes and her milk bottle into a school bag and gave it to her. She was jumping here and there, can't stay calm at one place. Kept telling her brother and sister that she is going to school too, just like them.

I, on the contrary, feel sad... My dear darling has grown up too fast! Tears were falling from my eyes.

......And my husband was making fun of me and my emotional scene....


I desperately want to bite his nose!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

A pleasant surprise to start the new year

My husband has been a very understanding person. He is the only one who could tolerate my rantings and ravings. Not at all a romantic person, but he's caring and I know he loves me much. Nonetheless, he has this one kind of sense of humor in him that sometimes I can't predict, though I have been sharing my life with him for more than 12 years now.

Today, without a word, he left house early morning and only came back in the afternoon. Smiles on his face, he asked me to sit at the sofa and told me he has something for me. I was quite suspicious with his attitude, yet I obeyed.

"This is for you." He handed me a big box wrapped nicely. Like a birthday gift. But today is not my birthday.

"What's this?" I asked, still looking suspicious.

"Open it. You'll love it." He said, still smiling.

I put the box on the coffee table and stared at it. This must be one of his clever tricks. Well, I've been tricked one too many times. He would then roll happily on the floor when my face turned red. Who knows what he put inside the box? What would be his trick this time?

"Are you doubting me?"

"Tell me what's in the box."

"Why don't you find out yourself? Open it."

"No. I don't want to."

"So you don't want it? I'll give it to our son, then. He'll be extremely happy."

There's silent everywhere. I tried to figure out what could possibly be in the box. Today is the first day of a new year, he has a good reason to put another trick on me. But no way that's gonna happen. I am determined not to be fooled!

Because there's no respond from me, my husband called our son to the living room.

"This is for you. A special gift from your mom." He said to Irfan.

"A present! For me? Can I open it now?"

"Yes, and make sure you open it in front of your mom, because it's from her." My husband kept smiling. I wonder if he ever felt tired of smiling like that.

Irfan did not hesitate to tear open the wrapping paper. Soon the mysterious gift revealed itself.


I was about to jump to my son and grab the camera, but suddenly stopped abruptly. Perhaps it's a dummy. Must control myself from getting too excited.

"Cool, dad! Thanks. mom!" Irfan was excited. I got a kiss on my cheek.

"Can you teach me how to use this stuff?" Irfan asked his father.

"Sure, first you need to insert the battery and the smart card. Then ....(bla..bla..bla...)"

Owh! Just you wait, Irfan, when you finally find out your dad is putting a trick on you." I said quietly, still stoned at the sofa.

Suddenly the door bell rang. My husband got up to get it. This is golden opportunity for me to inspect the dummy camera.

"I'm sure this camera is expensive, mom! It comes with many features. See! I must read the manual first before I can shoot like an expert."

"Let me have a look at it." I took the camera from his hands.


It's a REAL CAMERA. It's a brand new Nikon D3100. It's simply beautiful.....I fell in love with it instantly.

Owh! Now I regret being snobbish earlier. What should I do? I have unintentionally "handed over" the camera to Irfan. What to do now?

"This is a mistake. I did not give the camera to you. Can I have it back, Irfan? Pleaseeeeee...??"


To cut the story short, after much persuasion, Irfan finally agreed to exchange the brand new Nikon D3100 with his father's old Canon Powershot. What a relief! He finally agreed that the new camera is too complicated to handle and understand. So he opted for the much simpler, smaller, lighter and handier Canon Powershot. I owe my husband an apology for not trusting him in the first place. I must thank him too for being able to convince our son to take Canon instead. Dear darling husband, I love you so much!

"Now you need not take pics with your old Nokia N90 for your blog anymore. Oh! But you'll have to attend a training session organised by Nikon." my husband told me.

It had never occured to me that I would need to be trained to use a camera. But the idea does make me feel excited. I am looking forward for the session.

This is really a pleasant surprise for me to start the new year. At the time I write this post, I kept wondering if I would be able to master all the features offered by the camera and take beautiful pictures with it.

We'll see.....


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