Evolvement of life

Happy Monday everyone!

Hope today begins as a start of all good things to happen within this whole week. Insya’Allah!

The rest of my kids are starting their new term today. I hope the traffic will be smooth despite the begin of new term for the ITE students. Hope the red and green MRT line do not have any further hiccups throughout the day and the week.

Today’s topic on my mind is actually on the evolvement of life … how everyone of us goes through life either by facing hardships or a life of ease at the beginning and then it gets better or we fall from grace and how like a cycle, again we go through up and down at different interval of our lives …. how at times we start with being a badass and yet midway we evolve to be a better person.

So really change is a cycle and very constant …. always happening, sometimes slowly and at times rapidly … and the how and when we go through this cycle is the only unpredictable factor.

Whatever it is …. whether its negative or positive …. we can’t avoid change. All we can do is try our best to evolve our internal self to accept and adapt to the changes. At any time, most important is not to let go of the tie between us and the Almighty. The link between us and God is something that acts as an anchor, stabilising us when going through life’s negative cycle. Do not let go even if our link seems to be the weakest …. just hang on to it and pray and be positive. For in every hardships there will be ease. Be patience for the silver lining will be there.

A quote from Mufti Menk: “Calamity has its blessings. Embrace it. The Almighty knows. He has seen how it can transform a harsh person into one with the kindest heart.

And when we are facing the positive changes …. always be thankful and do our best to keep the blessings hidden. Why?

Another quote from Mufti Menk:Don’t underestimate the evil-eye. It’s real. As far as possible, keep your blessings hidden. Be humble. Make the Almighty your focus.

Jealousy is real …. the people whom we think likes us and trusts us are the ones most likely to back-stab us. I’ve seen it and I’ve gone through it. People whom I thought are like my own sisters, smiling one moment in front of me and yet behind me spread falsehood about me. The most disappointing are those who in the face of negative situation do not even defend you when they know they could have done so and help ease the situation.

Office politics is also another thing that are always happenings …. and these are mostly negative as well.

So be humble and protect the heart from hurt by keeping a certain distance from other people. Continue to be kind and friendly but be aware of life’s treacherous ways and learn to protect yourself. For these reasons, I am now more comfortable being in my own company and do not seek other people companion unnecessarily. The less we interact, the less we are open to mistakes and negative situations.

As a reminder, I too need to protect myself from feeling jealous towards other people, must always be thankful for what I am and what I have.

Happenings in life will make us evolve ….. what we should watch out for and hope for is that the evolvements are positive ones. Do not be afraid of changes …. accept and adapt. Insya’Allah we will come out better and wiser.

Khalas!

RE … of everything

The dust is settling even though it is still cloudy …. the future looks to be unsettling what with the recent going-on all over the world.

It makes me ponder and think ….. and I have come to a conclusion that all of us are in the re … of everything. A situation that calls us to Re-learn and keep Re-learning.

As we grow older … we have to continue to re-learn what has been taught to us … be it knowledge from school or from life’s university. Re-learn to align our choices, our perceptions, our perspectives, our way of actions, way of thinking, way of accepting, way of interacting etc.

We have to keep re .. of everything in order to keep up with the changes in our lives and happenings around the world.

I am no longer the person I was 40 years ago, nor the same person I was 30 years ago, nor the same person I was 20 or 10 years ago. Each day I am learning and re-learning … thus each year there are changes to me …. not just physically but mentally and spiritually.

So embrace the changes and all the re-learning process that comes through our way. Re-learn but re-learn wisely …. do not be hasty to change. Change only if we believe its good and meaningful and change only if our personal GPS convince us that it’s the correct thing to do.

Reaching the end

Less than 10 days more to goĀ … almost reaching the end of the holy month of Ramadhan. Alhamdulillah and feeling sad as well.

What I realise as the days goes by is that in Ramadhan, the ritual of fasting, praying and acting acts of obedience to Allah s.w.t. will either get easier or harder for some of us. (uh huh! it gets harder for me!)

The days are like the sieve that will show who will last in their endeavour to improve and increase their spiritual connections to the Almighty!

At the beginning of Ramadhan …. majority of the muslims would be most excited and looking forward to it. The early days of Ramadhan will see many going to the mosque, reciting the Quran and doing other acts of obedience.

Then came the mid of Ramadhan … the tests begins.

It became harder for some to wake up for Suhoor, to wake up for night prayers and even to fast. Besides fighting the trials from the weakening of the physical being, the temptations from thinking/doing preparations for the coming Eid will come forth, preventing many from pursuing the true essence of Ramadhan.

Here, what I can see, especially from myself, is the need to fight these distractions and keep striving to focus on the initial goals that one has for Ramadhan.

The true and faithful servants can be seen emerging amongst the ummah (not by our eyes of course, but by the Almighty) …. the real and the wannabes will be known by Allah s.w.t.

I pray that Allah give me the strength to continue (even if it’s little) what I have intended to do. I definitely can’t do it without His help and guidance.

We have to indeed keep monitoring ourselves …

“Beware of the curve…First 10 nights you go all out; second 10 you die out.” (unknown)

Faith … it comes and goes, up and down, so beware and monitor ourselves.

Another reminder for myself and I thanked the sister who wrote and share this quote:

“Who are we to wish for Paradise? It will be enough if God spares us His wrath.”

Wise words indeed!

Khalas!

PS: I’m glad and happy to see my eldest girl, on her own accord, referred to my recipes at my blog and prepared foods for our family iftar last week. Looking forward to taste more of her cooking in the future … and that of course depends on her mood hahaaa… šŸ˜›

Act of giving – A different take!

A sister in FB posted this :

‘When a person comes to us for help , it is simply because Allah knows we are actually the ones in dire need of the goodness that the deed holds.’ (unknown)

Love this quote for it gives a different perspective to the act of giving. Instead of always believingĀ that whenĀ someone needs ourĀ help and how thankful we are to be able to help him/her and feeling pleased by our act of giving, we now come across a different and more humble scenario. That it is us (the giver) who should be thankful that he/she comes to us for help. That it is us who needs that act of giving more than the one who receive for the act of giving (the rewards) are what we need to fill what lacks in us. They coming to us is an opportunity given to us and we should be grateful for that opportunity. So give sincerely and regularly whenever we could. Do not wonder what becomes of our gift to the ones in need. Never wonder whether the ones who ask are real in terms of their needs and never expect any returns except forĀ hoping that the Almighty is pleased with our act.

This quote really opens a new scenario of mindset and if we reflect deeply can help with burning up our ego, our pride and sins. Another point I need to remind myself again and again…..once given, keep quiet about it and never ever regret it.

There’s another 2 quotes about giving that I like and try to remember as often as I could.

“Give. Even when you know you can get nothing back.” (Yasmin Mogahed)

Yup. Give but never expect that we will get help from the same people we once give. Give without expecting any returns. Need not worry about the time when it’s our turn to seek out help. Allah s.w.t will send help via other ways and means (even via different people) … beyond our expectations sometimes. From my personal experience, this is so true!

and

“Give without remembering. Take without forgetting.” (Elizabeth E.)

It is always best to forget whatever good deeds we have done cos that will prevent arrogance in us and if we are the ones receiving, never forget to be thankful …. all these are keys to keep the diseases of the heart away from us. Insya’Allah!

One of the blessing of Ramadhan is that during this month, many people are usually more generous in giving for they knows the rewards given during this month are manifold. Alhamdulillah and hopefully the act many do during this month will spill over to the rest of the other months. Being consistentĀ of what we do is also important. It’s okay to do little kindness but it goes a long way if we can make it as an act that is consistent throughout the years and always check our intentions.

As Mufti Ismail Menk said,Ā “Do good deeds at the slightest opportunity in Ramadhan.Ā The rewards are manifold. But beware the pride that comes with it. Keep it sincere.”

Ultimately I think the act of giving is about being sincere, generous, kind and training the heart to be humble. I know I have a long way to go šŸ˜¦

Khalas!

Nuggets of gems – The head and the heart

These are nuggets of gems from Ust. Mizi. Wise words from a man many respected.

I decided to post some very important gems here as a reminder for myself. Humans are creatures of habits and we are also creatures that frequently need reminders.

Nugget 1:
Everything starts from the head (via our mind’s eye).

“It is not an accident that you came into this world head first.

Because if you want to quit drinking, you’ve got to do it in your head first, before you can do it with your body. If you decide to no longer be promiscuous, it starts in your head before your body will follow suit. If you’re deciding to get out of debt, it has to hit your head first before it hits your wallet. If you intend to lose weight, you’ve got to see yourself healthy and fit in your head first, before you can see changes happening to your body.

The way to see out a transformation is to have the ability to see it in your mind’s eye first. And then to put in the greatest effort, and the greatest energy, and the greatest amount of resources into that sweet spot where you can actually see the change manifest itself from within.” (Mizi Wahid)

When I read this I was like ..”WOW!!! How true!”. A simple example would be my recent attempt at losing my weight. So many times, people around me has been telling me the importance of exercise and losing weight but I had always ignored them. Why? Because in my head I still believe “I am still ok, as long as I’m healthy, being overweight does not matters”.

But then that One particular day happened and it’s like a waking call. With what I see, my mind and heart took a shocker and that started my journey to try and lose weight. It has been a rather difficult journey yet eye-opener to me. Alhamdulillah even though I still have yet to reach my idle weight but I am happy and thankful to be able to shed over 10 kg now. I may not look slim like in my younger days but I feel lighter and healthier and that has become my most precious reward.

Nugget 2:

“”God is with the broken-hearted. When your heart breaks, it’s a good thing – the breaking of the heart is what opens it up to the light of Allah. The dunya is designed to break your heart, so crush it.ā€ ~ Sheikh Hamza Yusuf

We all go through disappointments, setback, and betrayal in life; things that we don’t quite understand.

Maybe you prayed for a loved one, but they never got well. Maybe you worked really hard for a job promotion, but it was given to somebody else. Or maybe you stayed faithful in a relationship, but ended up getting hurt in the end.

All these and more, amount to much of the heartaches that you are experiencing right now. And one of the best things that you can do today, is to release it.

If you go around wondering why things never worked out, all that’s going to do is to lead to more resentment, bitterness, and anger. And before long, you’ll be blaming others, blaming yourself, and maybe even blaming God.

You may not have understood it, you may think of it as unfair, but when you surrender your broken pieces to God, it becomes a courageous act of faith.” (Mizi Wahid)

Wise words. I’m trying here cos yes, my heart has been broken to many pieces so many times …. some I can remember vividly till today and then there are others when the memories has become fogey. Ā I like the fogey ones for it’s a sign that I have somehow move on.

In experiencingĀ my own heart breaks, I realise that it is so much more easier to say/read all these words of encouragement than to act on it. Still, never despair. Keep trying and polishing theĀ heart. One never knows what will come out of it! Have faith in Allah s.w.t. …. Talk and confide in Him, cry out to Him, so even if I were to talk and tell to 100 people, none would be able to solve my problems for me and none would truly understand and knows what’s best for me than my Creator!

I have said in my heart so many times that I forgive those who hurt and maligned me yet sometimes I wonder how true is my forgiveness if I can still remember vividly of what happened? Am I being a hypocrite? Perhaps that is the “real” problem … my heart and ego needs to learn to think less of what others do to me and more of what I do to others!

At times I console myself and said, I can’t change others but I can change myself and then I realised changing myself is the hardest thing to do and I have to believe in the change for me to be able to become the change. So heart and head has to be align together for the goal to be achieve.

As I debate within me …. one thing becomes clear …. forgiving others I do want to do that, for I, myself, have so many sins that need to be forgiven so who am I to be proud and not forgive others but at the same time, I am resolute in not placing myself in a position where the same people can hurt me again for to do so would be a foolish thing to do.

So right now, asking for forgiveness for myself and for others is a must and at the same time I have learn I must protect myself too (and one way to do so is to have less contacts) …. I know myself best, my heart is easily moved and when it has soften, that’s the most vulnerable time (open to hurts). Ā So as I can’t change others (how they think or act or even knowing their intentions), I have to learn to change myself (as a protection with the motto, do not do unto others what others do unto thee!)

Insya’Allah ….

To end this post, here’s another gem from Ust. Mizi …
“Sometimes, when events in our life keep repeating themselves, it is perhaps wiser to think, that maybe instead of changing our circumstances, God is more interested to see a change in us.”

Rabbi yassir wala tu’assir ….

Khalas!

Regrets

Almost everyday as I begin my day in the morning, I would have different topics that I reflect on. Today the topic is on regrets.

Do I regrets certain things in my life?

Yes and No.

Yes…. I have regrets along the way to my life right now. Sometimes I feel that if I had been more wiser and mature in thinking ….the road leading to my life right now might be different. Yet half of me also acknowledge that some things are just meant to beĀ and from what I’ve learnt along the way….. is that despite the negative, there’s always blessings hidden in them.

No… I feel no regret to certain events or things I’ve done cos somehow these makes me (I hope) a better pupil at learning how to be a human.

There are moments due to these events, that I’ve come to know the small number of beautiful people in my life that comes and goes whenever it’s the right time. For that, I have no regrets and am very thankful.

So regrets as regrets goes …. life still goes on and what is for sure is that the future cannot be 100% foretold and may or may not hold negative or positive impacts on me. Sometimes what the eyes can see is just that … how far the sight allows to see but beyond it? Will still keep me guessing …. But right now? Right now, its far more important to keep striving and reminding myself to do good, be good, do not harm others and myself … in deeds, words and thoughts.

Khalas!

Words we utter … A reflection!

I have been observing and reflecting on the going-ons in the office.
I realised how we, humans, just love to judge others based on our own beliefs and values. Most of this judging are mostly negative and like a virus can spread its malice unto others as well.

I also noted that how much we belief in a person’s words has a lot to do with our own agenda (needs). Even if the other party is wrong, but because “we are friends”, we would naturally be more tolerant and even closed one-eye to any wrongs that particular “friend” did or say.

So how “good” a friend are we if we were to persist in doing so?

I hope through my observation and reflection, I will be more aware of my own actions and words. Everyone of us are responsible for our own actions and words and thus, should not blame unto others.

I am becoming more “friendless” because now I have a tendency to speak in a direct manner and have no patience for wishy-washy and even less for hypocrisy … even in myself.

Yet I find peace in doing so …. friends or not, I am a loner by nature, and have always been comfortable in my own company.

Less said the better when we are in crowds or chat rooms …. I have to try harder in this aspect šŸ˜¦

Say only what we mean and say words that bring goodness to ourselves and others….

Avoid people that affect us negatively … intentions must not be because we think we are good or proud of ourselves but because we want to safeguard our thoughts and emotions.

Safety first … in words, thoughts and deeds …

Khalas!