Good Bye

Time really flies fast, it has been two years already since I first touched Australian ground. Tomorrow, this journey of mine will be ended, in the land of Kangaroo at 3.40 PM (Sydney Time). It feels as if only yesterday I had come to this land. So many things I have learned, so many experience I have undergone, so many obstacles I have endured, so many souls I have learned to know, and indeed I always believe that there are still many things I need to learn. Indeed this life is but a short journey, what more is to expect from the two years here.

I remembered the time when I came to Australia and stayed at Macquarie University Village, not only after two weeks of my arrival that ‘Awe’ contacted me. Since then I started to know all other ‘ikhwahs’, when visiting their home (of which I’m staying now), I began to know even more people. And then, it starts to grow, and grow to interstate level and then national, and then international. It may sound exaggerated but that is the truth. Rasulullah had once said that the good souls will tend to be with the ones like them, what I am trying to convey here is, once you are committed to tarbiyyah, you will find that you’re not the only one in your place doing it, wherever you would find them, they are your brothers.

Willingness to undergo the tarbiyyah process actually signifies our readiness to uphold Islam and what it requires of you. I don’t really know what others think about it, but those who say bad things about tarbiyyah are being biased as they are only being spectators and watching. I have lived among the people who wanted what is best for their ummah and for themselves, seen their struggle to fight the unnecessary in their life so they could clear their path to serve Allah, and so many things. Therefore I know what is of truth and what is of lies.

To some, friendship and brotherhood would be good if they could serve your needs, and only at good time. But the real friendship and brotherhood is actually how you survive the hardship and could still smile and cherish the bonds you have. To some, life is about enjoying the moment and carpe diem, but all these perspectives of life only last for a while if we do not live it the way Allah wants us to. To some, working in an organization means rewards, fame, popularity, and status, but working for Allah (if one understands) does not provide those worldly returns, but He assures us permanent rewards that could be very useful in hereafter, famous and popularity among the angels and His creation not only on earth but also in the heaven, and of course status that will ensure us place in His sight, blessing, and jannah. To some, it is important how their friends perceive them, therefore they would not want to leave the up-and-going lifestyle even they have understood the urgent need for tarbiyyah, but losing the brotherhood and those who could help us during the hardship day is worse than all those perception.

Maybe, if we want to learn how to sacrifice, we have to live among these people. They work very hard and sacrifice everything they have for the ummah who are sleeping next to a burning fire, waiting to destroy them. Indeed, this ummah is sleeping still, very sound in the blanket of their enemy that kept lying to them about the truth, and as time passes by the fire become closer and closer to them as what they believe in the enemy would bring them to the hellfire. And this small group of people are trying to save them from that fact, from that burning, the same like what Rasulullah had done during his lifetime. I have seen them return from work and did not go straight back home but spend some times for the ummah, so they would know what Islam is. I have seen them taking out money as if they have so much, to see this deen grows. I have seen many things, despite what the others would say, because they are only spectators.

But now, this field is no more mine, I will have to leave it as another field awaits me in near future. Till then, I would like to express my gratitude to all my brothers who have coached, facilitated, trained, and guided me, may Allah bless you all and reward you for your deeds, to those who have been my companions in sunny and rainy days, moments of happiness or the times when I need to lean on someone, jazakumUllahu khayran katsiira.

of Nobody Important

I guess nobody would have made her presence of one that is important, nobody but me. She is someone special to me, though she is nobody to me. I hope writing this down is never too late for her for she has passed this world a week ago.

She was a simple lady, a mother of few, a dedicated wife to her husband and the family. I called her ‘Acik Eton’, she came to my school ‘Maahad Ahmadi Gemencheh’ to work as a dishwasher at our Dining Hall. She used to wash for the boys, hence cleaning up the boys’ area. As I have said, she was nobody to me, the only bond I would have with her is that we are Muslims, yet I am closed to her. Maybe I am closed to every ‘Makcik Dewan Selera’.

She passed away last week, in all of a sudden, without anyone noticing it. I only knew about this matter when I called one of the ‘Makcik’ who had taken me as her adopted child. It was on the Tuesday last week when she said she had had headache, so she applied for an off day on Wednesday. On Thursday, she still had not showed up, I believed that some of the ‘Makcik’ had been wondering of her absence. Without them knowing, she had been submitted and to remain at the ward for operation, her child did not inform the ‘Makcik’.

When the matter had got to them, they went to the hospital and paid a visit. She was supposed to go for an operation when she was identified to have appendix problem, but the doctor kept her waiting too long, attending to other patients and letting her suffer from not eating since morning to the next day. On Friday, she passed away, her appendix had perforated, it was too late, and moreover she was too weak due to the restrain from eating more than a night.

I don’t know who to blame. Is it the doctor who kept delaying the operation or due to the restrain from eating more than a night, of which also to be put on the doctor. She is not the first person of whom I know to have experienced such mistreat. My late aunty was one of them, she had diabetes so it had infected her leg, pus was coming out at every bit of her skin and the smell was also awful. So the nurses wrapped her leg, but did not care to clean it. She was also verbally abused by the nurses. My question is why? Why would you say bad things like that? Aren’t you supposed to do your job? She died few days after, and we didn’t get to see her for the last time. Was it because that she was nobody important to you that you did not give her attention she needed?

Remembering ‘Acik Eton’, even though she was only a dishwasher, I had honoured her as I had honoured my mom, I gave her respect as she deserved it as a Muslim lady. At times when I paid a visit to my old school, I would talk to her and the other ‘Makcik’ and kept them company. We conversed about many things, and she always asked of my well-being and expressing her concern. Sometimes we laughed together as I helped her cleaning the veggies and cut them to pieces. Sometimes she teased me for my “too-urban” style when I was cutting the chicken to pieces for lunch. It would be wrong if I said that I am not sad with her passed, but it was too fast, and the way her life ended was tragic, in the sense of the value of life was put at stake, and you (the doctor) with the skills had kept her waiting without food, and suffering.

For the late Allahyarhamah, al-Fatihah,  Please to know that even though you are not tied to me in any official relationship, you are always dear to me. And I ask of Allah that He would lessen your burden in the grave and He would lighten up the darkness, and make your grave spacious of most. Above all, may Allah put you with the believers, and may we meet again in jannah.

a Day with Hope


One of my previous experiences was being a facilitator at various types of camps of which involved mainly students as their participants. Having said that, such role had brought me to various parts in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, up north to Perak dan to the east in Pahang. There were leadership, motivational, co-curricular camps, and the one that I had created my own when I was asked to was ‘Anak Soleh’ camp. And every time I would to go for such camp, I would bring this new-kind-of-spirit feeling (of course, depending on what type of camp and role I was acting as) to work with the kids.

One of the memories I had was still fresh in my mind when I first joined the team (of facilitators from UKM and IPB [Inst. Profesional Baitulmal]) was the camp held for the heavy smokers among form 3 students around Gombak dan Hulu Langat Districts. If I remember them correctly, there were 150 participants who were mainly Malays, some were Chinese and Indians. Some of this kids smoked two boxes of cigarettes per day (one of them was a little lady I should say), some averagely a box per day and so on. Needless to say, I was quite agitated and worried as it was my first experience dealing with such kids, there were bombardment of speculations and thoughts in my head.

My friends and I came on the second day (probably as trials as we stayed there only for a day) and we were given short briefing of what needed to be done. After a while the students were divided into smaller groups, and each of us was to take one group for an internal ice-breaking session and a brief talk about smoking. These kids were very active and I seemed to get the good ones (not really, maybe a little). So I was thinking, how would I get through these kids? I introduced myself first and then asked them to introduce themselves to one another, and I put up a little game, of which they would be tested about other’s biodata, with this, I could get them involved and concentrated.

What really happened was I took down all the walls of differences between me and them, bridged the gap, put away the prejudices, and accepted them as who they were, kids of our future generation. What happened all day was mainly on the concepts I put above. A teacher inspires their students, motivates their students, build their students’ self-esteems, and guide them to success. I also gave them the chance to speak, for them to prove and deem themselves worthy, for them themselves, for the school, for the family, and for whatever they wanted of. Guess how it turned out?

I reckoned when you treated others as humans, giving them their rights to be respected, despite the ‘thing’ they were into, they would honour you the same. As I was saying that we came on the second day, the first day didn’t go very well with the earlier facilitators as they were treating the kids like savages, and convicts while they themselves blew the same smoke they were trying to curb.

There were very much memories for only a day of facilitating, and I couldn’t write them all. As night had covered the earth with its blanket, we ought to leave. Some of the kids were crying that we had to leave, some were begging for us to stay until tomorrow. Even the naughtiest of them all asked  the same thing. We really hoped that we could, but that was how far it went. Nevertheless, we did leave our numbers with them, so they may ring us up if anything.

What I was trying to say here is that, there is hope in everyone. What they need is a chance, to prove, to deem themselves worthy, to be treated as who they are, not what they do, free from prejudices. What is required of us then, is to give them the chances, to open up our door of acceptance, free from prejudices, and a clear intention to help. Since then, I have fallen in love with such role and I am still looking forward to be a teacher. Remembering those memories have always made me wanted to teach and educate even more.

P/s: up until today, I still keep in touch with one the participants, and he had stopped smoking. He had health difficulties now, yet he is still strong. For that I love him due to Allah.

Praying at the Pyramid

I was walking around the seemingly packed shopping mall when I received an SMS. My friend had just told me that he’ll be arriving at Sunway Pyramid in about 30 minutes. I gazed at the time and thought, “I should pray Isya’ first”.

I have lost my way once in this huge mall and I did not want to take anymore chances, so I searched for the nearest directory. Fortunately, there was a prayer room in the same floor. I walked to it, passing through designer outlets, one after another. The prayer room was conveniently located but there was nobody there other than three cleaners who are busy cleaning the ablution area. They seemed to be Bangladeshi. I smiled at them as they saw me taking my shoes off. They smiled back.

As soon as they realized that I was going to perform my prayers, they carefully arranged their brooms and mops and proceeded to take wudhuk as well. They signalled to me that they wanted to pray together – jamaah. I felt a sense of peace and delight as we prayed together. They insisted that I lead the prayers. After we completed our prayers and I have prayed sunnah, I became aware of the time and rushed to leave the prayer room.

My hand was pulled. It was the cleaner. Shell-shocked, I looked at him. He smiled again.

He then said, “I’m sorry, I just want to shake the hands of the imam”.

He pulled out his right hand and I reached his with mine. We both exchanged smiles and I bid him salam before leaving the prayer room.

I could not stop smiling. I did not know what triggered me to feel that way.

Maybe it was because I felt the purest form of brotherhood from a stranger. A brotherhood that stems from being a Muslim.

Maybe it was because I had always found it strange that Malaysians usually don’t pray jamaah together in a surau (prayer room) especially at shopping malls. They rather pray alone even though there are 20 people praying alone in the same room. Of course there are exceptions but I mean, the majority just wants to pray alone.

A friend of mine once said, “They actually want to pray together, they just don’t have it in them to initiate it.” I have seen incidences when his theory was proven true. When someone else starts a jamaah, everybody else will join in. Someone just have to start.

I see hope. Hope for Malaysians. Hope for Muslims.

Thoughts On Air

“Are we landing in Jakarta?” a confused Australian lady asked one of the cabin crews on board.

“Yes, we are madam,” she replied.

The fact is, a majority of the passengers of MH 147 that night had no idea that the flight they booked will transit into Jakarta before taking off to Melbourne. Some were disgruntled, while others just kept their disagreement to themselves.

I was not too keen about it at first, but then we were told that it will only take one hour before we leave Jakarta for Melbourne. Plus, the arrival time to Melbourne remains the same. That’s that then.

As I arrived to my seat, a Chinese-looking young lady was sitting right next to me. I said; excuse me while squeezing myself into my window seat. She smiled and we proceeded to mind our own business. As the rest of the passengers got comfortable and took their seats, we both reached for our books to read. For some reason, I was curious to know what she was reading. And I sensed she was eyeing my book as well. To my surprise, she was reading a book about Islam. About Allah and His Messenger. About my religion.

You see, this lady seemed very modern – stylish clothes, dirty blonde hair and did I mention she looked completely Chinese. I would never imagine her to be a Muslim.

And then it struck me. I was being totally judgmental and incredibly naïve about it all. I had no knowledge if this lady and just by a mere look at her appearance, I made a conclusion that she is a non-Muslim. I even felt a quiver of hesitance when I wanted to read my book (Memperbaharui Komitmen Dakwah by Muhammad Abduh). In a split second, I thought to myself, would this lady next to me mind that I’m reading a book about Islam? But I reached for the book anyway.

We didn’t converse with each other. But I sat through the flight feeling rather embarrassed at myself for thinking the way I did.

After all, the Quran has time and time again reminded us about the diversity of people that Allah has created.

Mankind! We created you from a male and female, and made you into peoples and tribes so that you might come to know each other. The noblest among you in God’s sight is that one of you who best performs his duty. God is All-Knowing, All-Aware. (49:13)

One of His signs is the creations of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your tongues and colors (30:22).

Islam has spread throughout the world, into the hearts of millions of people regardless of race and nationality.

It was a total wake up call. Allah is the only worthwhile judge.

Personal Hygiene and You!

Have you ever been close to somebody and his or her body produces bad body odour? I bet you wish you could keep your distance from that person as far as you could. Well, try to put yourself in that person, who produces bad body odour’s shoes, what would you feel? People would avoid being next to you because you produce this smell that gives an annoyance to them. In this condition, they cannot be blamed, and we sometimes forget how important it is.

You may ask, ‘if such is true, why does nobody talk to me about this?’ well, the answer could be that they don’t want to hurt your feeling, yet they do make some indirect signs, signalling such occurrence is disturbing, it’s just that you may not realize it if you’re so over yourself. In addition, you may also say that, ‘hey, it’s normal aye~ it’s the male’s scent!’ believe me; many of us would reject that point of view as today’s world has a better provision of such scent.

We want to take care of our personal hygiene and appear better in front of everyone not because we want to impress them, and those who do that are stereotypical. Take it like this, imagine yourself as a promoter, or a salesperson, and you have products to be sold, what if the product you’re trying to promote is not getting sold not because you can’t promote it well, but it’s due to your unacceptable natural scent (how sarcastic is that?)?

What more if you’re trying to promote Islam to others? Do you think others would accept what we call others for if we ourselves are not well-taken care of? More to that, it’s not just your body odour, it’s also your underarm, breath, etc. Seriously, if you notice that you’re having this problem but others do not respond, they are just acting so, so that they would not hurt your feeling.

Moreover, it’s not wrong to wear your best every day as Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty (Recorded by Muslim and at-Tirmizi). But we don’t have to do it excessively; it’s good enough that we take care of the basics, and the rests are additional and may act as compliment.

The only reason I would write about this is, I have observed how many people who work to call others for Islam but ignoring this aspect or view this as something unimportant. ‘Sincerely’, would you feel comfortable standing or seating next to somebody who has that problem? I remind myself before writing to you guys, till then, salam.

for more info on personal hygiene, click here!

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we write from our hearts so we may reach yours, as we endure the life full of challenges, and we choose the Quran and Sunnah as our guidance to live the life

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