Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Internet: Friend or Foe?

We all have a type of disease in our hearts. It's known as an addiction. For some, it may be excessive use of something good to the extent that it starts to harm their soul/body; whilst others are addicted to things that are already detrimental to our physical and mental well-being in the first place. In both cases, this addiction becomes unlawful for us to consume. 

Of course, anything is good if it is used in moderation, exceptions given to that which has already been classified as forbidden. It is easy to put in words what we can or cannot do but harder to implement it in our daily lives. Some find it hard to give up things that others might not even think twice about. We all have our own little addiction that we are trying to overcome. May Allah (swt) make it easy for us, ameen.

Here is my story.

My name is 'All My Wonders'* and I am addicted to the internet. 
I am on it after I wake up and before I sleep.
You will usually find me on the net if I'm not occupied doing housework and/or other things. 
When I click on the browser, it is almost always the same webpages that I open. 
Most of these websites relate to the dunya, some about the hereafter.
But majority of my time is wasted on the former. 
I am in a constant battle with my nafs (desires).
I hate myself for it yet I can't help but give in.
Oh Allah, I know you don't change a condition of a people until they change that within themselves first.
Help me find a way to do so. And then help me with it. 
I feel like a failure and a weak believer for letting my desires take over. 
Someone once said, 'If you want to know where your heart is.. Look where your mind wanders.'
I don't like what this addiction is doing to my heart. I don't like what it's doing to my mind.
It controls my life. Help me stop it.
I miss you, oh Allah. I miss the Quran in my heart. I miss your words and your remembrance.
Help me be strong to manage my time and overcome diseases of the heart.
Purify my heart and my soul.
Let me live my life for Your sake and allow me to attain Your Pleasure and Your Paradise.

Ameen thumma ameen.


*blog name

Monday, December 12, 2011

Nikah 27.02.2011

Never too late for this.


Jump to my sister's blog 'In My Studio' for the rest of the details + pictures.

I love you sis.
Thank you for everything.
<3

Friday, December 2, 2011

A letter to Dr Al-Turki

The Brother my Man has been conversing lately regarding Hajj asked us if we were interested to go for Umrah seeing as we didn't make it for Hajj. Yah of course!! Who wouldn't want to go?! He advised us that it would be a special invitation from the Muslim World League - man, we were ecstatic! ...However, when he got in touch with the Saudi officials about it, they didn't seem to be very keen on the idea. They told us to write them a short letter explaining our situation so here's what I wrote:


His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Bin Abdelmohsin Al-Turki
Secretary-General of Muslim World League


29th November 2011


Bismillahi rahmani rahim


Dear Brother Dr Turki,


I pray to Allah (swt) that this letter reaches you in good health and emaan. I write to you with a kind request in hopes of your generosity and approval.

My name is xxxx, born on the 23rd May 1978, currently residing in Melbourne, Australia with my wife, xxxx (25th July 1990). I am an Italian revert of 11 years alhamdulilah. Due to the mercy of Allah (swt), He chose to guide me to Islam having been a non-practicing Christian at the time. I recently got married earlier this year to a Malaysian sister who has also turned back onto the straight path of Al-Islam not long ago, alhamdulilah.

As you may be aware, we both applied for Hajj 1432 through the Muslim World League via Brother Saad (may Allah (swt) reward him). Initially, the brother informed us that our chance of getting accepted was very likely. Nevertheless, Allah (swt) had better plans for us and thus, we weren’t invited to see the house of Allah last year. We hope that perhaps a sponsored trip to perform Umrah would be part of Allah’s greater plans. It would definitely be a dream to go for Umrah and Hajj, seeing as we both are not financially capable to do so ourselves. Hence, we would be forever grateful and highly appreciative if you, on behalf of the Muslim World League, were to invite us.

I end my letter leaving my full trust in The Al-Mighty with certainty that He will grant us what is best in this life and the next, as He is The All-Knower, All-Wise.

Jazakum Allahu khayran.


Yours sincerely,



xxxx.



I felt that I could've done a better job ending the letter but it was late, I was getting tired and I needed to send it in that night. Khayr, nothing much we can do now but wait.

In Allah I trust.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The first year of marriage.

 The topic of marriage came up yesterday. It went something like this: 

My friend: "So how long have you been married now?"

Me: "*thinks* ...about 8 months. Wow. Time goes by fast." (Actually it's coming on 9 months!).

Me: "I feel bad though. 'Cause I feel like I've neglected a lot of my friends ever since I got married."

My friend:: "It's normal for all couples I think. I mean, it's your first year of marriage. You're never going to have that first year ever again so enjoy yourself. And insha'Allah your friends will still be your friends at the end of the day. They'll understand."

Me: "You think? I hope so..."

My friend:: "They're your friends, they should!" 

That's true. Now that I think about it, I only started getting to know my husband after we both agreed to get married. It's not like we were friends for a couple of years, dated for a while, engaged for a year then finally tied the knot. If that were the case, then marriage would simply be a piece of paper signed by the two parties. It would be an easy transition into marriage. Whereas in my case, marriage opened the door to a whole new life. 

For me, marriage is getting to know everything about my husband.  past. present. future. what ticks him. what makes him laugh. the things that make him angry. I mean absolutely everything. You don't just learn all about the person you're living with in one month. It takes months, years, a whole lifetime to get to know someone. 

Marriage, for me, is a new house. new friends. being part of someone else's family. being accepted as part of a family. knowing my in-laws. the good and the bad. taking up responsibilities. obeying the Man. sacrifices. compromises. patience. and all that jazz. 

Sometimes it's not as easy as it seems. 

So the next time a friend of yours gets married and disappears for a little while, let her know that you'll always be there and let her go. She will come back to you when she's ready. And when you ask her, "Where have you been?", She'll tell you "You'll understand when you're married".

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Allah (swt) has better plans for you.

That's what I keep reminding myself.

A couple weeks ago we applied for Hajj through the Muslim World League. For those who don't know, this organisation sponsors Hajj packages for reverts (you only have to pay for your airfare and they cover everything else, from what I've been told). As a wife of a Catholic-born-Italian husband, I also get to tag along and be covered by them. Initially, the brother informed us that we had a pretty good chance of getting accepted, even though we put in our application quite late (less than two months before Dhu'l-Hijjah). After weeks and weeks of endless waiting (Hajj is all about the waiting game, isn't it?), last night we finally got our answer. 

Turns out they had no more room for a couple left. 
Either my Man goes by himself, or we both go next year insha'Allah. Next year it is. 
Of course I felt what any normal believer would feel; disappointed. sad. lost. confused. 
I cried thinking "Why doesn't Allah (swt) want to invite me?" "It's because I don't deserve His forgiveness, isn't it?" "I should have done more...made more dua..."
But these thoughts are all from Shaytan. 

I remember telling my Man before we found out that if we don't end up going, we shouldn't feel let down. It doesn't end here. Life keeps on going and we have to keep up with it. The truth is it has already been written for us not to go this year.

"No amount of guilt can change the past and no amount of worrying can change the future. Go easy on yourself for the outcome of all affairs is determined by Allah's Decree. If something is meant to go elsewhere, it will never come on your way, but if it is yours by destiny, from you it cannot flee.'' 
(Umar ibn al-Khattab r.a)

There is always a reason behind His wisdom. A reason behind any hardship or calamity that befalls us. A reason behind a blessing. A reason behind everything. We might not understand it right this moment, but we will understand why sometime in the future insha'Allah. 

One day I will look back and say "Alhamdulilah. I see it now." 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Oh Allah, how beautiful and merciful you are.

I upload videos not for the sake of "filling in space" on my blog.
I upload beneficial lectures because as it may have benefited me, I think it will do you some good too.
I do this because I want us all to go to Jannah, together. (Yes, I know it sounds very corny...but it's true.)


Lecture really starts at 4mins+. 
I can assure you that your half an hour watching this video is time well spent.

May Allah (swt) grant us all the passion for reading and reciting His book and the knowledge, understanding and implication of His book in our lives.

Ameen.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Eye of the tiger.

Okay, I gotta be honest. I have a tendency to daydream, a lot. When I say 'a lot', I really do mean every single day without fail. Sometimes I don't even realise I'm doing it until the person speaking to me snaps me out of the moment. It's a bad habit, I know. Although I can't really say I hate it because every girl likes to fantasize once in a while, right? My problem is that I do it way too often. And most of the time it's about the dunya. The things I want to do, the things I did, the things I could have done, the things I love doing, the things I see myself doing and it goes on. If it's not about me, it's someone else. Especially now that my eyes are set on a target, I find my passion for it growing bigger and bigger every time it crosses my mind or when someone brings it up, so it's hard not let myself get caught up in 'what could be'. 

Picture this. Take the one thing you love doing so much. Be it writing, photography, cooking, debating, exercising, memorizing whatever. When you're doing it, it makes you happy. You smile. You're at ease. It brings joy in your life. You feel peaceful, even for a moment. Because it means so much to you, you want to share it with the world. You want to make something happen with it. Something big. But...it's a life-long dream. Things like these usually require a lot of hard work, patience and most importantly, dua. Surely, we all know that success doesn't just happen overnight. Oh how I wish it did. 

And then you realise your real purpose in life. Your five daily prayers, your morning and evening zhikr, your Quran, your tahajjud, your fasting, your seeking knowledge, your death all brings you back to Allah and a pang of guilt rush through your body. You feel weak for wanting this life more than the hereafter. You feel like you've failed yourself and your Creator. You feel like you've wasted too much time dreaming about this world so much so that your hereafter terrifies you. You feel like you're not deserving of Jannah. You're almost giving up hope. So you repent. You cry.

Not long after, this dunya consumes you again and you forget about the reality of life. You're back at square 1. 

Now my question is, how do you know that this dream you're having is worth chasing after? Do you ever think that you're forsaking your hereafter by working for this life? Or are you juggling both? I'm sure we can do both, no? 

...of course, it's only common sense to let it go if it takes you away from the remembrance of Allah and makes you forget your purpose in life. 


---

”Competition in [worldly] increase diverts you. Until you visit the graves” (Qur’an 102:1-2)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Forgive me for abandoning you.

Surprise, I'm back! I've missed you dear blog and bloggers. I'm terribly, awfully sorry for going on hiatus without any notice. I can't believe it's been 10 months! 10 months! Unbelievable. Time goes by so fast it scares me. Therefore, please forgive me for my shortcomings, for I am in need of your mercy and His mercy. 

You see, as soon as The Man entered my life, he became my whole world. He became my mornings, afternoons and nights. He became my best friend. He became my guardian. He became my shoulder to cry on. He became my life partner. My boss. My ATM (hehe). My punching bag. My Spiderman (spider-catcher?). My guinea pig. And everything else a husband would be. Oh yes, I'm married by the way. Alhamdulilah. It's been almost 8 months now...so you see why I've been away for so long! Now I understand why so many newlyweds "disappear" for a while after they get married. I'm ashamed to say that I became one of them. *sigh* Anyway, alhamdulilah we can all only improve on how we are today, not yesterday. 

So much has happened since January here's a short recap: 

  • [Jan] Went on a month long holiday to Malaysia. Last holiday as a "single" lady and travelled around with my parents. Stopped by Sabah, Borneo for a couple of days and the first ever Survivor Island, Pulau Tiga. Spent time with relatives, filled tummy and luggage with goodies and much much more.
  • [Feb] Hosted Shahirah for two days and took her around Melbourne. Oh how I miss you Sha. 
  • My nikah. 27.02.2011. An intimate garden ceremony with family and close friends. Details and pictures soon, insha'Allah.
  • [March] Planning for my waleemah. "Lovebirds" period - mind in cloud nine. I think it's still there...
  • [April] Our waleemah. It was combined with my niece's aqeeqah. Basically it was a huge feast. 
  • Went on a mini honeymoon trip to Mount Dandenong and stayed 3 nights at The Japanese Slipper.
  • Moved into our new unit. 
  • [May - June] Settling in and getting used to a new routine. Housewife duties included chores, cooking, sweeping, moping, cleaning, attending to husband's needs and all that goes with it (hardly did housework before marriage so it was tough, especially the cooking! My whole day was spent researching what to cook, learning the ingredients and how to cook.)
  • [July] Turned twenty-one!
  • [August - September] Ramadhan + Eid. Hope you all had a blessed month and Eid celebration. 
  • [Oct] Back to blogging. Because 1. I miss it. 2. I miss the people. 3. It boosts my emaan. 4. I miss writing. 5. I need some time for myself away from The Man. It's about time. Don't you think?
JazakAllahu khayran to those who wrote their concern while I was away. Bi'ithnillahi ta'ala I will try my best to keep up with my blog and the emails.

Now I feel like giving you all a big, warm hug!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

sincerely from me to you.

Congratulations to 

Sister Sara

and 

Sister Shahirah!

You both have won the Ayat-a-Day Calendar. Alhamdulilah!
InshaAllah I will be contacting you shortly.
May Allah (swt) allow you to ponder and act upon the verses each day.

It was difficult to choose the two winners. Honestly, from the bottom of my heart, I wish I could give every Muslim in the world the calendar as a gift. It's so beautiful. I recommend you buy one for yourself as it will serve to remind you of why we are here in this dunya in the first place. Anyway, here's how I came to the decision I made.  

1. Two people posted my favourite Ayat. Unfortunately, I had to choose one of them. So I chose the person who commented first and that is Sara.

Surah Al-Bararah - verse 286

Allâh burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned. "Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error, our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us (Jews and Christians); our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us Forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Maulâ (Patron, Supporter and Protector, etc.) and give us victory over the disbelieving people." (286)

I've recently experienced this and realised that Allah (swt) truly does not burden us more than what we can bear. When He puts us through hardships, it's because He knows that we can get through them. InshaAllah we deal with them with patience and hope for our reward to come one day. May Allah (swt) make our hardships easy for us and bring us closer to Him. Oh Allah, you make things easy if it by your will. And you make the difficult easy if it by your will.

2. I couldn't stop thinking for days about what Shahirah posted. This is what she wrote:


There are many hadiths that I love but I found this one about 3 weeks ago and it touched me and made me think about the life of this world and how meaningless it is compared to the life of the Hereafter.


The rewards one will get in Jannah is far better than all the luxury in this dunya, so much so that he or she will forget about all their struggles and hardship on Earth. SubhanAllah.


There is always a reason to say "Alhamdulillah" for as long as we are Muslims and possess iman.


"On the Day of Resurrection a person from the people of the Fire, who had been living the most comfortable and luxurious life in the world, will be brought, and dipped once in the Fire. The he will be asked: O son of Adam! Do you recall seeing any good, a moment of comfort or luxury? He will reply: No by Allah, O my Rabb!


And a person from the people of Paradise, who had been living the most distressful life, will be brought (and) dipped once in Paradise. Then he will be asked: Have you experienced any misfortune? Has any distress come your way? To which he will reply: No by Allah, O my Rabb! No misfortune has ever come my way and I have never experienced any distress."


SubhanAllah we complain so much about our hardships being so difficult in this life but on the Day of Judgement, we don't even think anything of it. That really got me thinking.

Congratulations to the both of you.
And JazakAllahu Khairun to everyone who participated.
I only wish I had enough to give you all. 

for those who are still waiting.

This is a message for those who are still searching for that man.
This is a message for those who have given up a loved one for the sake of Allah (swt).
This is a message for those who are still in a pre-marital relationship, who want to stop but somehow can't.
This is a message for us all.

When you give up something you love dearly for the sake of Allah (swt),
the Most Gracious, Most Merciful will indeed replace that which you have lost with something even better. something you can't even imagine. something so beautiful it makes you cry at the thought of how Generous our Lord is. Those who are patient will be rewarded, inshaAllah.

You need to trust Him. You need to put your faith in the One who created you, the One who put us through hardships knowing that we have the strength to bear it. If we weren't able to, He wouldn't let us suffer like that. Maybe you're going through a tough time right now but you need to be patient and have faith that He will provide for you. He will give you better. He will make you happy again. He will do that because He is so Merciful. 

I want you to know what life is like after the hardship you go through. I want you to know what it feels like after being patient for so long. I want you to have HOPE. SubhanAllah  I can't even describe how happy I am. Allah (swt) has replaced that which I have lost with someone amazingly beautiful. I never thought that I'd find him, but I did. I have him. And I never want to let him go. Letting go of that something in your life for the sake of Allah (swt) might be the hardest decision you'll ever have to make, but it will turn out to be the best decision ever, inshaAllah. We need to fear Allah (swt). We should be scared of His punishment but at the same time we should also know that He is so Merciful. He loves those who sin and repent to him. We are humans, we sin everyday...but we need to make sure that we repent and ask for His forgiveness before it's too late. 

And when you do decide to let go, don't forget to breathe. Life will still continue. Life will still go on. You will be fine. You have yourself, you have your friends, you have your family, and most importantly, you have Allah (swt) who will provide for you, who will mend your broken heart. Trust me. And most importantly, trust The All-Mighty. He loves those who puts their trust in Him.

I'm telling you this as your sister in Islam, as a believer, as a Muslim, as someone who has finally realised the true beauty of being patient. And as someone who has found her other half.