Saturday, June 7, 2014

one last trip

What would you give to have one last, perfect day with your loved ones?

Mama: "You know, this is the last trip that we're going on together. After this adik is going to fly, and along is getting married."

I'd give the world and everything that's in it.


Ask anyone who's married, and they'll tell you that its a very big step to take. But i guess that what crossed my mind were mostly rainbows and sunshine and butterflies, and the enormity and weight of what I'm getting myself into did not really sink in. Until this final holiday trip.

In many ways, this trip felt very different. My family loves to go on regular trips to a state up north, to rest and relax and go where the food is nice. Normally it would be a straight drive, stopping only at rest stations on the highway. But this time round

We stopped by my brother's old school, where he took photos for memory's sake

We took detours out of the highway to stop by several places that had wonderful food

And for the first time ever, my dad took selfies of the whole family at every restaurant we visited, 

My dad is not the type to say 'i love you boys', but i can understand from his actions that he's saying 'i love you boys' loud and clear.

'This is the last time we're eating here together. After this along and his wife will be bringing us here'...

*drip,drip* awh man, writing this down is so hard..big boys aren't supposed to cry, adoi...

I don't have the words to describe this trip..victory lap? Homecoming? Down memory lane? Manhood ritual? The reality sunk in that im no longer a big boy, no more depending on my parents, i'll be a man with responsibilities and my own family to bring up and educate. 

'(Patting parents' shoulders) jangan risau..janji ditepati' (don't worry..promises will be fulfilled) 

Parents would worry a lot of things, and you could understand that. Will he be too busy with his wife and neglect us? Will he be around to help? Will he even visit? My mum told me that parents always see their children as their little babies, no matter how grown-up they are. Remember that, even if you're a high-ranking somebody. You could have never reached that high without being lifted, after allah, by a pair of blessed hands, who held you since the day you were born, put up with your screaming and poo, and proudly smiled on every graduation day too. 

I am deeply grateful to Allah that this trip happened. It was close to perfect. The memories, the wonderful meals together, the subtle hints, the comforting words. At night we played Risk, a military board game and that was a perfect game too (perfect because, obviously, i won).

Probably the last time we would all be in the same car together. 

Everything that happened during this trip made me feel like it was destined to be a final, perfect day with your loved ones before moving on to another world. In a way i am moving on to another totally different world, people ask me 'are you ready' and i say 'sort of' but you cannot really be sure you're ready until you're actually married. Don't worry, we'll cross the bridge when we get to it. Insyaallah.

Thank you allah for gifting me with my parents.

Thank you allah for gifting me with my brothers.

Thank you allah for gifting me with my future half.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I hope that allah will accept us altogether into a Garden where there would only be one eternal, unending, perfect day.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Mr Karpal Singh- a reflection

I was touched by this article on Karpal Singh:

Religious and political stances aside, I can't help but to admire his virtues as a human being. Replace the name 'Karpal Singh' with 'Mohamad X' and you find in him a lot of attributes that are ideal for a da'ie:

" or hate him, you have to admire the man’s tenacity."

"He was as fierce as a tiger when taking on his opponents but outside of the political arena, he was soft-spoken, courteous and polite and always a gentleman."

"You could not catch him using rude words especially in front of ladies and he treated all reporters with respect."

"Those who have been to his office are often surprised at how small and ordinary it is."

"Come to think of it, Karpal never once complained about the disabilities he had to endure after the 2005 accident that cost him the use of his limbs."

While at the same time, his 'muslim' critics lack integrity, are foul-mouthed, extravagant to a nauseating degree and are wholly unrepentant, fearing warnings from the ballot paper more than warnings from the divine book.

We are the worst enemies of our own selves.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

it slips away

Here's a neat tip for managing time.

I can't remember who told this to me, but he got it from a brother in the mosque.

And the simple way to a productive life is

"After every solah, plan what you want to do until the next solah".

That way, you will get two kinds of goodness.

The goodness of using time wisely,

And the goodness of arranging your life according to the times of solah, and not according to meal times.

All the best ;)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

think good of your brother whatever colour he is

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Sunday, April 6, 2014

It's a twelve-to-twelve job

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Prostrators inc.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

little gestures, big love

"Assalamu'alaikum ustaz"

"Waalaikumussalam. Ramai geng" (quite a big gang you have there)


"Ada bungkus? Ada nak tambah?" (Any takeaways? Any add-ons?)

"Ada 2 roti kosong. Tak tambah" (2 plain rotis. Nothing to add)

Why would anyone ask about takeaways and add-ons? It was a weird question, but i appreciate that the shaykh is being friendly.


"Orang tadi dah bayar" (he paid for it already)

Ahhh, so that explains the takeaway question.

Upon hearing those four words, my heart shed a tender tear.

He paid for it.

To put it in another way: he, a prominent shaykh, a leader among the ranks of du'at, honoured you eventhough he hardly knows you.

To others that might only be worth a few ringgit. But to a jund majhul (unknown soldier) like me, that is more precious and poignant than attending daurahs every night of the week.

How true is this statement: a truthful man communicates to other truthful men more through his actions than through his tongue.

Afterwards i gave a message to him: "salam ustaz, jazakallah belanja roti canai pagi tadi (y)" (salam ustaz, thank you for the roti canai this morning)

And he replied.

"Antum orang mulia..allah sentiasa murahkan rezeki" (you are noble people..allah will always provide for you)


I will never delete that message :')

Friday, March 28, 2014

that tingling feeling

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

If today was your last day

*allah is sufficient for me, he is the best disposer of affairs. Make me die as a muslim, and join me with the soliheen..

Monday, March 24, 2014

23 on 23

23rd march 2009. My last birthday in the 'black hole', before Allah broke my chains and set me free from the enveloping darkness, pain and nothingness.

now 5 years have passed and i am 23.

A lot can happen in 5 years.

you can come to realise that the world you once knew,
is nothing but an illusion, trapping all souls but a few.
you can lose a close friend, whose time was up and due. Only twenty-four, but touched more hearts than a man who's fourty-two.

others, you also lose, but not to an earthy mound.
this dunya took them and shook them, till their hearts flipped
and turned around
leaving behind no word or sound.

but don't be disheartened,
there are others on this road,
whose hearts never waver
while they shoulder crushing loads

they are chosen by the Master
heroes coming to your aid
they're not unblemished angels
but they will always keep you straight.


let's try to make the best of our short lives. abu hurairah lived with the prophet less than 5 years, but he used his abilities to the maximum and narrated more hadeeth than everyone else.

thank you for all the wishes and du'as.

maybe this will be my last birthday as a (fill in the blank). maybe, just maybe.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

the carpet in the corner

I am a carpet in the back corner of a mosque. That may not be as glamorous as being a khat writing on the wall or a gigantic chandelier hanging from the ceiling, but

Who am i to complain. Carpets get changed every now and then, so might as well enjoy my time here before the dust settles. I've been here only a few months, the old carpets were replaced because a really Big Man came to the mosque to officiate a ceremony, and apparently green just wouldn't do. I asked the front-door carpet, how was it? What did it feel like to be graced by two Very Important Feet?

"Rough. A bit sweaty. Somewhat smelly. Like any other feet."

Please forgive his sarcasm. I guess you tend to be grumpy if you get stepped upon everyday.

Contrary to what you might think, being a carpet isn't all that bad. We're vacuumed once a week by this kindly old man and then sprayed with, what's the name of that thing? Febriz? Febreeze? I can't remember, my head's full of fluff. Assuming i have a head, that is. Sure, there's the occasional saliva drool or 'urethral discharge' (little children are a particular dread. I can still hear the carpet in the middle, screaming in horror as a little boy walking with his father suddenly stood still, said 'daddy, i want to weewee' and let loose without a moment's pause. *shudder*) but overall, things are awesome.

If i have something to complain about, it's that i hardly ever get used. Except on fridays. Lucky those front-row carpets, they always have visitors. Why not build a mosque with just two rows then? I don't know, human logic escapes me. I heard the imam's mat (he's been here the longest, no one dares to change him because he's a particular favorite of the imam. He is also the wisest and most rug-ged amongst us) say that humans have even more fluff in their head than carpets. 

So that has been my life so far. Looking forward to Fridays, and passing the time looking at those 'wise and rug-ged' humans who are a staple feature of this place.

Until something interesting happened a week ago. 

After the last prayer of the day, all those humans would go back and do whatever it is humans do. But last week, all of them went back except for one small group. They walked to the back of the mosque and *nervous excitement* sat on me.

Me! Of all the carpets in the world.

These were not like the other humans who usually attended the mosque. They were less wrinkly, laughed at every other sentence..and wore some kind of blue fabric that felt a bit rough. 

Then they sat in a small circle, and suddenly everyone was quiet and sober. They each took out a mid-sized book and all the books had colourful stickers in them. I've seen humans reading these books, but never with stickers. And the things these people talked about, some of them i never heard before.

"..we are khaleefas....ustaziyatul alam..our mosques are half-empty, the carpets gathering dust.."

Did i hear right? Carpets? These humans are strange, they look different, they talk different. They went on and on until the old man came, made a waving gesture and said

"Okay boys, out out. It's time for me to lock the door".

"Thanks uncle."

"So we'll meet again next week? Same place?"

They all nodded in agreement.

"Okay, for starters let's make intention to come to the mosque for fajr every day".

They then got up and left. Interesting. I wonder who they were.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The BBB Club

Recently, we went to visit a shaykh, who is already 65 years old.

And he was a true-blue example of our desired Muslim IndividualTM. In addition to having shaykhi qualities (greets you warmly, gives sincere and heart-melting advice, and has a house full of books), he is also

Physically fit (relative to age).

With a flat tummy.

A friend of mine went on a camping trip with this shaykh once, and they had to trek down the shoreline. This was a rocky shore, not a sandy one. Imagine climbing up and down rocks when you are 60. And another friend told me that one of the things that made his heart fall for D&T was seeing this same shaykh playing takraw with people much younger than him. Awesome.

rockin' it at 65
Not too long ago, we went to a waterfall with another shaykh, also aged 65. I was quite worried because it was quite an uphill climb, and 65-year-old men could get knee sores or something like that. To my amazement, he went up faster than myself and when we finally got to the waterfall, he didn't sit on a boring old bench. No, he went on top of a large rock and sat there cross-legged. It was as if he came straight out of a Kungfu Panda movie.

I wonder what i'll be like at 65 (assuming we live that long. I presume that the average lifespans of CIA targets are much shorter)

Art-thritis: the art of making light diseases look life-threatening to skip obligations.

That's where we need to widen our understanding of D&T. Fitness and health is not just a part of tarbiyyah, it is an important part of tarbiyyah. The very point of tarbiyyah is to produce people who are excellent in every sphere of life, and not just excellent in attending their weekly circles with no noticeable output.

D&T is a life-long career, and superhuman stamina is needed.

Abu ayyub died in a raid against the byzantine empire. At that time, he was over 80.

Rasulullah himself started going on skirmishes and campaigns when he was above 50. When things got tense in a war, the sahabah would take cover behind rasulullah.

Imagine, these were young men sheltering behind a very senior pakcik. Makes you want to shed tender tears while uttering 'awesome' with trembling lips.

So inspired by the example taught by rasulullah and the contemporary example of our two shaykhs, today we on RP are launching a new club. Its totally voluntary, you can join anytime and drop out anytime.

Its called

The BBB club.

Belia Benci Buncit (youth against bulge)

Membership fees are zero, and if you want to join just follow these simple steps:

1. Eat moderately
2. Fast 3 times a month
3. Commit to a daily physical activity. No gym membership required. 15 minutes of light physical exercise will do, like walking fast, running up the stairs, shadow boxing etc.
4. Avoid junk food and junk drinks and eat healthy food. Sunnah supplements are recommended. 

If you 'make intention' to do all of the above, then welcome to the BBB club! :DDD

Then we can produce a generation of 


Because the stomach is the worst vessel that a son of Adam can fill. 

Its a touchy subject, but at least one person has to press the (belly) button.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The original Brother

Today we remember the death of one of the leading lights of Islam in the 20th century:

Ustaz Hasan al-Banna.

History is one of my personal obsessions. I love it because by seeing history we see patterns and trends, we see unchangeable, universal laws that Allah set in governing the affairs of men.

It is particularly interesting to read about the lives of great men, and I love to see the dates in which important events happen to them, how old they were at that time and what they did at that age. To take al-Banna for example:

- Born in the year 1906. Memorised the Qur'an at a young age, entered Madrasah ar-Rasyad at the age of 8, and then primary school, and then Madrasah Mu'allimin (teaching school) Damanhur, and finaly the Darul 'Uloom in Cairo. Graduated in 1927 (21 years old)  

- An activist from early on, he set up a society for the prevention of Munkar in school and with his friend Ahmad Sukkari set up another society for the same purposes in the teaching school.

- Worked as a teacher in Ismailiyyah in 1927 (21 years old). People call the late teens and early twenties as 'formative years', the ages where young people are most susceptible to new ideas and most willing to fight for those ideas (the bulk of Rasulullah's early followers were in this age bracket). Ismailiyyah is a city on the west bank of the Suez Canal, then still controlled by the British. Let us look at some of the forces acting to shape the identity and character of the young al-Banna:

1. Being born into a scholarly family (his father was a scholar of hadith)

2. Constant tarbiyyah since he was small
3. Living in close proximity to the British presence, he must have had a strong sense of the degradation and humiliation faced by muslims living under colonialism

These influences are not exhaustive, but I hope that they convey the impression that Allah prepares the right conditions for the right people to come out at the right time.


"..And whoever believes in Allah - He will guide his heart. And Allah is Knowing of all things." (At Taghabun:11)

- Established al-Ikhwan al-Muslimin (the Muslim Brotherhood) in 1927 (21 years old). The call of the MB spread across Egypt, and al-Banna himself visited around 3,000 villages in Egypt to spread the da'wah.

- In his 30s, established the Muslim Brotherhood Theatre, as well as several magazines and newspapers.

- Resigned from teaching in the year 1946 (40 years old)

- 1947-1948 (41/42 years old) - Sent thousands of MB members to Palestine to resist the Israeli onslaught. In 1948 the members of the Ikhwan were estimated to be at least half a million

- Assassinated on the 12th of February 1949, aged 43.

Here is an example of someone who made maximum use of his youth. We could take inspiration from the fact that he was already leading a formidable revivalist movement in his 20s, when most 20-year olds today are preoccupied with what job to apply for, what car to buy or what show to watch.

We could take inspiration from the fact that in his youth, he reached out to a lot of people, either by going great distances to meet them personally, or indirectly through his writings and his followers.

Western authors would say that he died a 'premature death', because he died at a very young age and it is at 40 that people usually reach the height of their abilities. But we say that Allah makes the best decisions, because 

eventhough al-Banna died young

His thought and his struggle is going strong until today. It is a sign that this struggle is not dependent on one individual.

It is a struggle that has withstood hostile propaganda, executions, ruthless dictators, mass arrests and more. It is a sign that the truth has settled in the hearts of men, and the truth will not be sold for cheap earthly rewards. The truth does not need us, we need it.

The fact that al-Banna could achieve so much in so short a life, begs the question:

What have you done today?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Diseases of a murabbi

10 Diseases that you definitely want to avoid as a murabbi, courtesy of ustaz wan ahmad sanadi and brother amri (and reformatted to fit with the spirit of this blog :D):

1. Tipus -Tidak punya selera (no appetite) - no appetite for tarbiyyah, no appetite to manage other people's tarbiyyah, no appetite for heart-to-heart talks. May result in premature death and hardening of the heart. Sobs

2. Mual - Mutu amat lemah (super low quality) - no quality. We don't conduct quality circles and don't produce quality men. No noticeable increase in akhlaq, to take an extreme example, cannot even read the quran well. Double sobs.

3. Kudis - Kurang disiplin (lacking discipline) - circles are conducted according to MMT (malay meridian time), which is always GMT+30 minutes. No one finishes their assignments. Walks like a duckling when late, instead of running like a gazelle. Discipline is a basic tenet of D&T, which is why we have mukhayyam (campings).

4. Asma - Asal masuk kelas (as long as you attend class)- 'i'm doing a big favor to da'wah by just being here, people need my aura'. Summed  up by the popular proverb, 'releasing cough on the stairs' (melepaskan batuk di tangga)

5. TB -Technology Blind - the fact that you are reading this blog on various devices means that you are vaccinated against this particular disease :D.

6. Kusta -Kurang strategi (lack of strategy)- if, in our jahiliyyah, we could create complex strategies to overcome goblins, ogres and trolls, we could surely come up with a strategy to turn ogres into princes who will rid the world of the evil empire! Muahahahaha

7. Kram - Kurang keterampilan (lack of appearance) - example: forgetting to brush your teeth since morning. Your mutarabbi will then hear about hell in addition to experiencing it first-hand.

8. Asam urat - Asal sampai bahan, tapi kurang akurat (inaccurate information) - 'err..i think that this sahabah said that..i think allah said it in this aayah, im not really guys lah check it out, this is tarbiyyah for you, im just testing you out'.

9. Lesu - Lemah sumber (weak sources) - 'okay, you can refer to fi zilal..and, erm, fi zilal, and, erm..did i say fi zilal?'

And our favorite acronym for today:

10. Diarea -Di kelas, anak-anak diremehkan (neglecting our children)- not giving a thought towards our mutarabbi, never caring whether they live or die. Trust me, fall into this disease and they'll go out of da'wah faster than real diarrhoea comes out of the body.

Love, your unqualified doctor. ^^v

Saturday, January 11, 2014

School of liberali?

Today's story happened on..yes, you guessed correctly, the train, again.

I took half-day off at work and waited on the platform at 12.35, hoping that by 12.45 the train would come. Then it would take another 50 minutes, so i would arrive by 1.35, just in time for jumu'ah.

If the komuter had an identity card,  i think that it'll have 'Malay' written under the 'race' heading. Because it eventually came at 1.00 o'clock. At this rate you'll never arrive in time for jumu'ah *sigh*

I didn't know where to stop, because i didn't know of any stations close to a mosque. Close to one station, an arab guy tapped me and asked what time jumu'ah was. I told him and he gave an exasperated look. Right out of the blue, a mosque appeared past the train and this guy said 'come on, hurry hurry, we pray here' so we got out and hurried to the mosque that dropped down from the sky.

"What's your name?"



'La la, ikmal'


Never mind.

While we were walking, this man asked told me what he was doing. "I went for 11 interviews, this morning i went to INCEIF, not good..malaysia is liberali, school of liberali (liberal school of thought)"

My heart dropped 1 meter.

"To study islamic finance here is not good".

5 metres.

"Where do you work?"

My heart is now at the bottom of a deep deep well. "Ermm, i work at a bank"

"No, no, you must change. You must change your job. Allah will provide rizq for you, there is lots of riba (in the financial system)".

I mildly protested with assurances of 'yes yes we're trying to change (the system)' but i think he misheard me and insisted that i change my job.

"Where are you from?"

"Jordan". 'Amman?' "No, north of amman." Interesting. Its as if allah sent this guy all the way to bring me out for jumu'ah prayers, and tell me about the reality of my job. And from jordan too, no less. What an extraordinary twist of qadr.

Later on, he asked me to look at his work application and translate several things from malay into english. This was no ordinary man, he has a degree and a masters degree and previously worked at a bank and a securities' institution and came to malaysia to apply for a PhD.

And he came all the way to teach me that: you are sitting in a position of responsibility and you see haraam happening. try to change it and don't be content with your wealth and qualifications. Because nothing can save us from falling into a deep, deep pit of blazing flames except of allah.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Problems with your house/office/circle mates? Then read this.

We recently moved, so every morning now my dad and i take the train to work (the komuter now is quite reliable, whoever did that transformation programme with ikhlas i pray you'll be repaid with compounded ajr). This blog talks quite a lot about trains, doesn't it? Anyways, one morning we were trying to find a parking spot and there was only one left. It was in front of a pile of rubbish and under a tree. Not the best of places, but whatever.

I spent a full happy day at work doing..ermmm..something beneficial, im sure

And did not think about the car until i came back in the evening.

There seemed to be black stripes covering the car..when i came closer, the stripes turned out to be LINES AND LINES OF ANTS, crawling all over it. Arghhhhh.Blerghh. Bluekkk. I couldn't find any words to describe the dismay that i felt, so you'll have to forgive these un-tarbawi expressions.

Please don't let there be any creepy crawlies inside. I opened the door, and under the door was a whole swarm of them. T_T luckily there were just a few on the seat, so i could brush them off and drive the car home. I drived as fast as i could, hoping the wind would blow them off and didn't even slow down driving over some bumpers, hoping they would be bumped off like a rodeo on his bull.

That night i sprayed ridsect on and inside the car. The next day my brother took the car for a wash, they had to wash the engine as well because it was also colonised.

And i can swear that as at 4th january, 2000 hours malaysian time, some of them were still in the car. When it rains they disappear, but if the weather's okay they come out again, albeit in fewer numbers. These must be CIA-trained ants, experts in strategy and espionage.


But i want to thank these ants for teaching me a lesson in amal jama'ie (that's translated as working together for those of you whose mother tongue is english). I didn't know that small black squishy creatures could reach such a sophisticated level of organisation. Let's look at some of the reasons why ants are exceptionally good at teamwork:

1. They think and move like one body
In my twisted imagination, this is what i assume happened - An advance scout of ants go out to explore their surroundings. They spot the car and send back a report to their nest. The other ants all then receive the same orders: *SILVER CAR. LOTS OF CAVITIES FOR NESTING. FOOD CRUMBS ON THE FLOOR. GET YOUR FORMATIONS READY*. 

And they all went out with one heart, when you see them you don't see individual ants but a horrifying, flowing black stream. None of the ants suddenly decides to drop out and take ballet classes. When they move, they move as one.

2. They communicate well
Ants are really good at communication too, hence their superb organisation. In fact, scientists have realised that ants produce sounds that are differentiated, that they actually have a language. (click here)

3. They specialise and complement each other
Some ants collect food. Some take care of the larvae. The queen just lays eggs. Flying male ants just pass on their genes and then die. Does this mean they're good-for-nothing hedonists? No, each is playing out his role according to what Allah has commanded. They're all f-ant-astic.

4. They don't backbite, backstab, or hold grudges
I think the above is self-explanatory.

To be fair, working together has its drawbacks and challenges. The ants might all be pursuing the same, non-optimal strategy (their strategy to take over my car was less than optimal, they were running on the outside of the car where there was a dangerous exposure to death by ridsect or carwash. A more optimal strategy would be to go up the inside of the tyres and up the chassis, colonising the car bit by bit from within. Then i'll have a real nightmare). 
If ants had the emotions of human beings, they might be complaining about other ants. ('i can't work with him, he's been working in the rubbish heap for god's sake!', 'I do all the heavy lifting', 'that ant forgot to greet me with his antenna', etc.). If their nest was far away, it might take some time before the colony reaches a decision and gives orders to the frontline ants.

Nevertheless, the point i'm trying to make here is that when these ants work in single file, they can undertake huge projects like attacking a car. If it was just one ant or a small group of red ones, the big ugly enemy (me) could have just flicked them away. But a whole colony, even if it did not succeed in capturing the car, could bring disruption to the enemy's schedule, cause great distress (while i was driving home i felt like there were ants in my pants eventhough there were none) and also financial ruin (it cost RM35 to wash and vacuum the whole car. The carwash man shook his head in disbelief at the sight of so many insects). 

And when they work in concert, they're even more terrifying than fire ants eventhough they don't usually bite.

So the lesson for tonight is,

A jama'ah of harmless black ants is infinitely better than a single black ant,
And much much better than a small group of tough and charismatic fire ants.