What's meant to be, will be

How often do you realize that everything that happens to you in a day are according to Allah’s plan?

At many times, we tend to neglect this fact. We tend to think that what happens in a day is how we plan it to be. And even if things do not go as planned, it is not a big deal simply because you don’t really mind what happens. For example, you plan to have toast with jam and butter for breakfast today. But when you go to the kitchen, you realize that you’ve run out of bread. Thus you end up making yourself some ‘cekodok pisang’ instead.

In this case, undeniably, Allah has planned that you will have the delicious ‘cekodok pisang’ for breakfast instead of the toast. But on our side, as a human being, we don’t always or directly relate this to Allah’s plan. I mean, you don’t go and say to yourself, “Oh, Allah wants me to eat ‘cekodok pisang’ this morning instead of toast. Alright Allah, ‘cekodok pisang’ it is”. Most of the time, when you find out that you’ve run out of bread, you’ll just go to your kitchen larder and see what else is available for you to eat that morning. In every day cases, when the stuffs that you need to make your plan work is not there, you’ll just go and find another alternative. No big deal, hey?

But there are also some events in our daily life that are more important and have bigger impact on us if it does not go as planned. It can be of any sort; the public transport breaks down so you arrive late to work, you spill some curry on your shirt or ‘ tudung’ during lunch hour so you spend the rest of the day in an untidy state, your laptop breaks down when you’re almost done with a 3000 words essay and you have not saved it yet, you have to miss a very important meeting because something bad happened to your family that you have to attend to, and many other things. (p/s: I’m sorry most of the examples are related to work..kind of have forgotten how student life is..hihi). But, you just name it.

And, when these important, planned things do not go as it should, what do we usually do? Most of the time, I believe, we tend to find something to blame. ‘Oh, I shouldn’t have let my brother use my car yesterday, now it’s not working well anymore’. ‘Oh, my roommate is such a careless person! How could she switch off my laptop’s plug at such a critical time! ‘. ‘Bummer, why does my son have to be sick at this hour! This meeting is so important for me to get the contract!’. And so on and so forth. And for most people also, there will always be some’ %!!*$#$%#’ words before the lines I’ve stated above –which is obviously not a good thing to practice, so please keep it to yourself.

Now, when these kinds of things happen, it is seldom that we relate it back to the fact that everything goes as Allah’s plan. Whereas, as a believing muslim, this is what should come first to our mind. Whatever happens to us in our daily lives is planned by Allah. So, while we have our own plans for the day, if it does not fit with what Allah has planned for us, then it won’t happen. And when Allah plans for other than what we want, there is always a reason behind it. At times, we can see the reason there and then, but at other times, we can only see the ‘hikmah’ of such event years after.

I remember watching one of the Phineas and Ferb series on Disney channel. If you’ve ever watched this cartoon, you’ll know that the whole theme of it is that, Phineas and Ferb will invent something so great, and their sister Candace will always try to spill on them to their mum. However, at every time, without fail, the invention will disappear somewhere before the mother gets to see it. Well, in one of this episode, Phineas and Ferb created a time machine of which they could move to the future and to the past. At one point, the machine went to the future. And when Candace in the future found out about this, she took that opportunity to go back to the past where her brothers built a massive roller coaster and investigated how the roller coaster vanished before her mother got to see it. She found the perfect time to spill on her brothers and took that chance. So she changed the past, her mother saw this invention and thought of how dangerous her kids imagination is. Since then, the education system changed and kids were no longer allowed to be creative anymore. Happily, this Candace from the future travelled back to where she belonged, but when she got there, everything was totally different. There was disaster everywhere and the bad Doofenschmirtz ruled the world. She was totally surprised. She found another Candace of that future and asked what happened. And so the history went back to when she managed to spill on her brothers and kids were prevented from being creative etc etc. So, she went back to the past to fix this and told the Candace of that time to give up spilling on her brothers. The reason being is that, by changing what was meant to happen could result in a different future altogether.

So you see, when things happen in the will of Allah, then it is meant to be and nothing could stop if from happening. Most of the time, as human being, when things divert from our plan, there will always be the ‘kalaulah’ phrase. Right? Ok, in English, it’s “if only”. “If only she did this, then I would have that”. “If only he gave this, then that would have happened” etc. But believe me people, there is no such thing as ‘if only’, or ‘kalaulah’. And even if the word does exist, then the only thing that could happen is something worst than what had already happened. Do you know what I mean?

Where I work, it is important that we go offshore as the number of hitches will affect our KPI’s. The more hitches, the better the KPI. So, I started seeing this trend of people being jealous of another because they have more hitches than them. People start saying bad thing about others because of this. Or, some people would be so worried about it that they try to take away opportunities of others. And this isn’t a good practice. What I will always tell my colleagues is that, if you were meant to go, then you will go. If you were not meant to go, than no matter whether you’ve booked your ticket, or packed your bags or made a deal with the bosses, you just won’t go. That’s it. End of story. Fullstop. And like it or not, you’ve got to admit that it’s true. Right? Yeah, I can see heads nodding.

I’ve experienced that myself. I was supposed to go on an on job seismic training in Sarawak during the raya season. All the ticket booking has been done. I was all set to go. But at the very last moment, we were told that there is not enough places on board (POB) for a female, as all the rooms are a 4-man room. So, unless I want to share bedroom with guys, than I can’t go. And so, the ticket was cancelled and I get to celebrate raya with my family. So this is one of my experiences where Allah's plan take over what I planned. I’m sure all of you have your own experiences right?

Try looking back at your past experience and see how many times Allah’s plan has taken its way above your plan. Also reflect back on how these changes has decorated your future. It’s ok to feel a bit depressed, or sad or angry. We are, after all, human beings. But let’s not make these emotions take over us. And try making it a habit from now on to always be thankful and patient when things do not go as plan. Install this belief that Allah knows best. That Allah has something else laid out for your future. Hold firmly to this belief. You’ll see how calmly you can take and adapt to changes in the future.

And if you have your own experience to share, by all means, please do.

The art of Giving Advice

I used to be (and still am) a counsellor to many people since I was in high school. Being a counsellor to some people is seen as offering some thoughts to the client or person to his or her problems. I don’t have a specialized degree in that subject for the matter, so I am more of an adviser. You see when people consult you for their problems; don’t just act as someone who gives opinions and solutions to that matter, because in the end they would come back to you for another consultation.

The reason I mentioned the above is not because I don’t want them to come back to me because as a Dai’e that’s exactly what you want them to do. However, giving them the solutions is not suitable as for me, you don’t help them to overcome the problems by themselves, instead you’re making them leeching on you. I always believe that as an adviser, or a dai’e, you’d be an enabler, the one who would enable them to independently work the problems out on their own.

Why? Because,

  1. Everyone is unique and different from one another; therefore one’s approach to solve a matter is different from another.
  2. No matter how much one can offer you assistance, at one point he or she has to stop, as the next step of that assistance is you start helping yourself.

So, how to work these out?

Try to learn more about your client or the person who consults you. As I have made the 1st point above, it’s crucial to note these. What I did was, I learned about their background, the type of family that they had, the kind of parents he had (totalitarian, permissive, etc), his resources to solutions, etc. Why noting all these? All these information are like the framework to the solution of the problems, they work in a way to provide you with the best solution to for that particular person. Sounds like a lot of work? I think once you have got used to it, it’d be a piece of cake.

An example just to show you how it works;

‘A’ is the 1st child of 5 siblings currently in form 5. His father is more of authoritative while his mom is rather totalitarian. ‘A’ has a very good relationship with his siblings even though his mom is strict in disciplining her children. Now, the problem might be that ‘A’ wanted to pursue his study in medicine and become a doctor, but his mother wanted him to become an engineer.

Have you seen the solution as yet? All the above information are the framework to solve ‘A’s problem.

This is one of the many examples of solutions you might come out with:

‘A’ is under a lot of pressure as he’s taking SPM that year, and the fact that he’s the eldest gives him a double pressure. However, we know that he’s a good son as it can be inferred from his relationship with his siblings. The information above also suggests that he has a good relationship with his parents too, despite the different approach his parents choose to practice. You won’t have a good relationship with your siblings if you don’t have a good relationship with your parents; that’s the logic. Now, the only obstacle for ‘A’ to pursue his dream would be his mother, despite him being obedient and good to his parents, his mom sticks to her argument that ‘A’ is to become an engineer, not a doctor. His resource to solution is obviously his father. He needs to explain his dream to his father and asks him to consult his wife to agree. And in this solution the probability that ‘A’s mother would agree as they could live together for many years (assuming from the number of children) despite their different approach in parenting (it depends though).

note: inference may depend on many things. depending solely on one aspect does not make your inference valid.

What might not work?

It might not work if the child was to face his mother solely without any support, as we know that his mother is a strict lady, the possibility for him to get her permission might be zero, and therefore it needs someone who is able to soften her.
At one point, no matter how much advices you have given someone, you should know it that you have to refrain yourself from assisting him or her anymore as the next step requires that person to act on his or her own. This is when you enable the person to work his or her way out of the problem, not to feed them that they may leech on you. The solution that you have helped them find will guide them on how to work things out.

Does this work for dai’e? I don’t know about you, but it always works for me, Alhamdulillah. The passion and devotion that dai’e have shown only to listen and give opinions would leave memorable marks to those who consulted them. But remember; don’t allow them to rely too much on you, as they won’t want to walk on their own again. Dai’e guide and assist, we lead them to find the way not bringing them to the way. And be patience, don’t expect to see the result in one night, Rome was not built in a night aye? Maybe you’d care to read my previous posts on listening to others.

Cheerio and Salam~

A Teacher's Heart

i'm not here for you to love
i'm not here for you to adore
what more, i never ask you to respect
for what i do is only to benefit you

sometimes you hate me for what i say
or you hate me for things i do
but students, my dear students
one day you shall understand

when i say
i try my best only for you best interest
if i punish you, ever
it's because i want you to be better

it's okay if you don't share your love
it's not my intention to get one
it's okay if you don't adore
for i have adored you more
it's okay if you don't pay your respect
for equal has to be paid

Muslims first!

If there are two shops next to each other, both offering the same services but are owned by different people, which shop would you choose? What would be the criteria that would influence your choice?

Where I live, there are two neighboring photocopy shop. One owned by some non-muslim chinese people. The next owned by some muslim malay people. And this is quite obvious because outside the chinese shop, there's the red tokong, while outside the malay shop, there's a banner with the word 'Bismillahirrahmanirrahim' written largely.

When I was a kid, my family members would always go to photocopy stuffs at the chinese shop. From inside the car, I always wonder why my family and other customers (mostly malay muslims) prefer the chinese shop over the malay shop. But the only logical thing I could think of at that age was, maybe the quality and services are better there.

Now that I've grown up, the time has come where I need their service to photocopy stuffs. As I drove myself to the shops, I found myself parking in front of the chinese shop.

But as i sat there in the drivers seat, the question came back to me; why am I choosing the chinese shop over the malay shop? The only answer I could give was that this was where my family have been going to all these years. And it is guaranteed that the service here is good.

But then, if I don't support the malay muslim economy, then who will? All these while, I've been calling people to islam, for the muslims to rise and conquer the whole world..yet, here I am, preferring a non-muslim shop over the muslim shop. And I was like...what?

Cognitive dissonance, hey?

And so, I thought.. nah, I should break the tradition. Let me be the first in my family to go to this malay shop. And so, I reversed my car and parked it in front of the malay shop and went in.
Alhamdulillah, I felt great.

Not because I chose a malay shop over a chinese shop. But because I chose a muslim shop over a non-muslim shop.

As for the service.. I'll be honest. The service offered by the malay shop is not as good as the chinese shop, and the malay shop is waaay messier. (Could be why people don't prefer coming here). But still, I manage to get my stuffs photocopied.

Lessons learnt:
1) As muslim customers, please do support the muslim economy.
2) To muslim entrepreneurs, buisnessmen/women, etc.. please try your best to provide the best service possible. Have a goal of conquering the economy! Make life easier for people like me who wants to support people like you.

It's just Turbulence on Airplane

Bismillahi walhamdulillah,

It is normal when the plane we board on experiences turbulence; it is the nature of flying on airplane after all. You can never run away from it, nor avoid it. The same goes with our very human lives, at times things may go easy with us, but on the other times, there are times when we get to face its own version of turbulence.

Some people say life is like a wheel, sometimes you get the upper hand, and while others you may get the lower hand. It is as simple as this; in everything you do in life, there are risks waiting for you in the future. Running away is an option, but it never lasts. There are many who stumbled when they got mixed up with this, but fail to stand up again. They are haunted by the reality that they did not manage to endure it, hence traumatized. As a result they would choose to avoid it.

This is why avoiding, running away, and all other terms you may choose to use will never last standing up against the problem. In fact, as the life is like a wheel, it moves in a cyclic manner, hence, avoiding the problem you face will only bring it back to you, but sometimes more complicated and difficult.

Let’s face it, there is nothing in this life that could be achieved without experiencing challenges, problems, obstacles and the list goes on. Even thing as little as eating would be a challenge when you’re a first timer at it, but as time goes by, you’d learn to pickup the tricks and become a pro. One of my good friends told me that, the test given unto a human, measures the distance between him and Allah, the bigger the test, the closer Allah would want you to be with Him. Plus, how we perceive something, as a test from Him would not necessarily be how He perceives it. Meaning, to you something could be just a small matter and not a biggy, but on His sides, it determines who you are and what you’d turn out to be.

Indeed, there are many solutions to the obstacles, it’s only the matter of you searching for it, and applying it.

You can never be alone in this matter, for Allah is everywhere, anywhere. As He has recorded it in the Quran, ‘when My servants ask of me, verily I am indeed close!’, ask of His help. In addition to that, there’s a hadith qudsi where Prophet Muhammad recorded that ‘He is shy to not granting the prayers of those who ask of Him’. I also believe that you have the ones, whom you trusted most, share it with them, as they maybe one of the deliverances Allah has sent unto you. Alas, even if they cannot provide the assistance you need, one thing is for sure, their loyalty is proven, that they are ‘the friends in need are the friends indeed’, who are willing to stand by your side at times of grieves, and rainy days.

Being optimist is one of those things that helps you get through the hard times. There’s a hadith saying, ‘what an astounding situation of a believer, in every situation to him is a goodness, given a relief in life he’d be grateful, being tested he’d be patient, and it is also a goodness’.  Once you believe that Allah knows what best for you and that whatever lies in front of you is not just a mere bad luck, you’d be astounded as how you’d receive everything that is laid upon you.

Go for your dreams and do what is best for your lives, but remember to face your nightmares, as I have always recalled, ‘you will be tested at the point you’re weak at’, this was uttered by the late almarhum KH Ustaz Rahmat Abdullah, from PKS, Indonesia. As I have written, it is just turbulence on an airplane, it’s normal. Once you get through it, everything would be fine.

Don't Demotivate to Inspire

Sometimes when we see someone is going through some hard times and a little bit gloomy, with a heart full of compassion, we would feel like giving them a hand and take them out from the dark clouds. Unfortunately not many manage to do it the right way, hence adding more to the problem that someone has already borne. You may feel as if you have done the right thing, but you may just do what you think is right for the person, not what he thinks is right for him. If you feel like inspiring others, don’t start it by demotivating them, it doesn’t work.

First of all, bear in mind that we are the ones who wanted to offer our assistance, not them asking for ours. Therefore, more attention is to be given to them instead of us. In a simple way, it means, let them do more talking than you yourself. Moreover, it is human’s nature to love to speak about themselves, what more in a situation where they are in despair. Allow them to speak up their minds and let it all out, until they feel like they have said enough.

Be an attentive listener to them. Sometimes you don’t need to voice out your opinion; your attentive listening has done it all. What they want is to be heard. Give them space to express their dissatisfaction, and ask them if they have more to say. Again allow them to speak their minds. This may not satisfy you, but it surely will satisfy the one in trouble.

When they have told you of their problems, do not start your lecture or give your opinion. This is where many of us make the mistake whereby some would point all the mistakes to the person (even though the problem does come from the person, do you think he or she would not realize it?), while some would simply voice out what they think, thus put their judgement to decide on the person’s case, and others would give negative connotation and comments about the person or the trouble he or she is undergoing.

Instead of doing that, why don’t we ask them some other questions like; ‘what do you think causes this problem?’ or ‘what’s the status now?’ or ‘how do you feel about this?’ to allow them to speak more of their problems and channel them to think for the solutions. This would give them more space to reflect the problems that they have and start looking for the solutions. We as the wiser persons (as we are not bothered by anything and could think wisely) should encourage them to search for their own answers.

When they have done doing that, you may express your opinion on that matter. You may say ‘you know what I think? I think...’ or ‘in my humble opinion...’ so on and so forth. Pick the best words choice to express your opinion. Even when you want them to reside on your opinion, by doing this you are not imposing, rather you’re indirectly influencing them. Less pressure, more confident. In addition to that, if you’re giving them solutions, give them choices and allow them to choose, do not impose! You may explain in details of the choices and tell them why you think any of them is the best, but leave the decision for the person to make. It is never your right.

Be positive and channel your positivity to them by giving them encouragement and support even when they do not reside on the person’s side. Expression like ‘I believe you can do this’, ‘don’t worry everything would be fine, in sya Allah’, ‘Allah is always with the one who is close to Him’, ‘Allah has never left His servant prayers unanswered’, and many more.

Sometimes people think they can’t get access to someone’s heart for the fact that they only do not have the right key.

Haiti in Need

It has been a week since the nation of Haiti was hit with its worst earthquake in 200 years. The massive quake (7.3 in scale) destroyed the buildings and roads. The death toll so far is 200,000 people with another 250,000 injured. More than 1.5 million people are left homeless, struggling for survival. A medical officer who is pouring his/her heart and soul in helping the victims made a startling claim. He/she said that 20,000 people will die every day because of lack of medical supplies. These victims need surgery to treat their injuries and complications that arose due to the devastating quake. Infections are spreading at a pandemic level and the prospects are looking gloomy.

I do not think I have to explain much further. The whole world must have understood the situation by now. It is covered in mass media and humanity seems to be responding well to the catastrophe that has befallen the people of Haiti. Millions of dollars are donated by many countries throughout the world. Aids are promised by many organizations and people are being generous about it.

However, as I scroll through the news using my laptop and read the various articles concerning the Haiti tragedy, I realized a common pattern. Many articles covered the numerous aids and donations given by countries throughout the world, as well as organizations. Nevertheless, I could not see any Muslim countries listed or Muslim organizations. I kept on reading and still could not find any. Feeling adamant that this must not be a fact, I continued searching. Finally, I came across an article. Alhamdulillah.

The article was from www.themajlis.org and even though I do not know the validity of this article, it provided me solace and surety. The link is provided at the end of this post. The article was in fact written to prove that Muslim countries are indeed helping the country of Haiti even though it seems difficult to find that information in other mainstream sources. I do not know the reason behind such blatant omission of information from other sources. One can only speculate but that will not do any good. However, I do not find it hard to believe if people start speculating the reason behind Muslim countries’ ‘lack of support’ for the Haiti cause.

You see, Haiti is country largely populated by Christians. According to my research, 80% of the population are Roman Catholics, 16% are Protestants, 1% Atheists and 3% Others. Where are Muslims? Less than 0.04% of them are Muslims. Clearly, I have no idea how to truly substantiate this information but in the end, it is suffice to say that Muslims are a small minority in the area. Thus, some people might argue that Muslims countries ‘lack of support’ might be due to the lack of Muslims in Haiti. Evidently, that is without a doubt, a false belief.

I do not deny the possibility that there might Muslims who felt some degree of reluctance to help the people of Haiti because of the large population of Christians. After all, humans are enormously varied and we are not angels. Nevertheless, I firmly hold true that Islam teaches its believers to spread good to everyone as narrated in verse 2 of surah Al-Maidah:

And help each other in righteousness and piety, and do not help each other in sin and aggression. And fear Allah. Surely, Allah is severe at punishment.

Thus, regardless of our differences, if we have the means to assist and help, why not? Why deprive ourselves from the bounties promised to us by Allah Himself?

Additionally, a good friend of mine forwarded a letter that struck a chord. It was poignant and sad. I felt a sense of responsibility after reading it and I thought I might share it here. The letter was taken from the website www.muslimmatters.org and the link is provided below. An excerpt of the letter is as follows:

Ya Ikhwani! We are in need of your assistance. Our country has been hit by an act of nature that has left our people with countless deaths, homeless, without water, food, blood and medication.

All of our hospitals have crumbled, we have piles of people in the streets dead. Some people have had to have their limbs removed without aesthetics. Makeshift hospitals are being made with tents but there are not enough doctors or medication for the amount of injured.

The smell of dead bodies has risen in the entire city, the people have become desperate of the situation.

Houses have been destroyed, stores, buildings, it is a complete nightmare. A children hospital was destroyed and thousands of children have died.

All the masjids are still standing and the brothers and sisters are using them as shelters for those in need. The little available is being shared.

Unfortunately all the churches have been destroyed and over 100 priest have died.

We ask you please for your du’as to Allah, subhanahu wa ta ala, to alleviate us from this tragedy. And if you can help us in any way, with food, water, medication or whatever it may be. Please, please, please do so.

May Allah keep you all under His shade and move your hearts to extend your hands to your brothers and sisters and our people who are in need.

From: Brother Ahmed bin Ambroise, a Muslim based in Haiti.


The question that still remains, are we going to act upon this? Lets!

Link 1: http://www.themajlis.org/2010/01/18/muslim-countries-are-in-fact-helping-haiti

Link 2: http://muslimmatters.org/2010/01/16/letter-from-haiti-a-haitian-muslims-request-for-help/

A Walk to Remember

Someone confessed, “This is so tiring. When are we going to arrive at the camp site?”

“Ha, you whined. 5 push-ups! Hehe,” his friend replied with a coy smile.

“Ya Allah, that makes 25 push-ups in total! I need to stop whining,” he muttered under his breath.

That was one of the scenarios that occurred at a camp that I joined a few weeks ago. There was a rule. Each person was not allowed to whine. Do not say you are tired, or you’re thirsty, or you’re hungry or anything that remotely suggest a whine. If you break this rule, you have to do 5 push-ups or squats. That was the rule that we all agreed upon.

It was quite challenging, the rule I mean.

We were attempting the Great Ocean Walk. Located in the Great Otway National Park, about 4 hours drive from the Melbourne City. We stayed there for 2 days and 2 nights. On Friday, we arrived at Blanket Bay at sundown and quickly pitched our tents as the dark began to envelope the area. The next morning, we started our walk. The destination was Aire River. The distance – about 20 kilometres. The weather was wonderful that morning. The sun seemed friendly and its light seemed to project the same excitement that we had within ourselves. We were ready for what lies ahead – or so we thought.

As we began walking, with about 10-15kg of baggage on our shoulders, we chatted animatedly with each other. Smiles across our faces with a confident stride in our walk. We continued with exuberance as we began hiking one hill after another. That was when our body began to tire. Some of us glanced at their wristwatch and then realized that it was just a mere 30 minutes since we started walking. We already felt the heat, certain exhaustion and were sweating quite profusely. But the goal was still far ahead, and no man should throw in the towel so early in the game. We stopped at certain intervals to replenish our energy. We drank our water at quite at alarming rate. Before we knew it, we only had a few sips left. That was when the rule began to be an enormous challenge.

Tired. Thirsty. Hungry. Hot. Sweaty. Pain. Heavy. Exhausted. Dehydrated.

Those are the thoughts that came to mind. And once we began to lose the energy we had, we began to lose our ability to control our tongues as well. Thus, we became whiny. And the number of push-ups multiplied. The best way to deal with our whiny little mouths was to simply stop talking. It also saved our energy.

Clearly, we were in need of motivation and energy. Truth be told, at times, giving up seemed to be the best option. But honestly, it was actually not an option. We were in the middle of the forest and we might as well go on because turning back was just as daunting as going further.

However, alhamdulillah, we saw the light at the end of the tunnel. Literally. As we trotted further and dragged our tired muscles and limbs, we would pass the ocean and it felt like a certain light uplifted our morale. MasyaAllah the view was breathtaking. For a minute or two, we would forget about everything else and time seemed to freeze. It froze to allow us to think. To look, think and absorb. The blue sky, with sparse balloons of clouds. Such clear, sparkling waters of the ocean that reflected the soothing blue-sky. The crashing sounds of waves as they forced through the rocks and soaked the white sandy beach. Accompanied by the chirping seagulls as they glided merrily across the picturesque sky. My description cannot hold justice to the scene itself. Each time we were blessed with this panoramic gift, we felt justified. It was all worth it. The perseverance, patience and persistence proved priceless.

By Allah’s will and bless, bit by bit, we continued walking. Amid the heat and exhaustion, we followed through. It was undeniably challenging, but this challenge, I believe, brought the best out of everyone. When one of us was down, there was always a hand to hold, a shoulder to help. It was beautiful to see. And it still brought a smile to my face as I write this. But that probably requires another entry to truly depict how proud I was having such unbelievable friends.

Through it all, we arrived at our destination. Tired, indeed. But massively contented. We achieved a feat. We were proud and ecstatic. But most importantly, we were thankful. Immensely thankful to Allah for His blessings. For allowing us to witness and live a world of experience in a short period of time. For allowing us to observe His great creations laid out for us in this wondrous planet. For allowing us to challenge ourselves and outdo ourselves. For allowing us to have such incredible companions that are with us through thick and thin.

Alhamdulillah. Alhamdulillah. Alhamdulillah.

Now it is time to do all the remaining push-ups that we promised to do. Hehehe.

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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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