Saturday, June 4, 2016

Life as an expat in Muscat (Part 2)

During my early days staying here, I didn't know much about the life and culture of the Omanis, although we live in an area where I can consider as local area because 95% of our neighborhood are local people.

According to my husband, most of our neighbors are senior government servants, hence the laid-back and safe atmosphere. Although I don't know most of my neighbors (the wives mostly spend their time at home or work or outside with friends *you would only see housemaids running errands and escorting small kids to the playground* and some of them don't really speak English, and I am also an introvert that stays at home most of the time), but they are OK. Well, at least nobody has ever bothered us. 

Honestly, at first, I preferred to live in The Wave (about 10 mins driving from our house). It is a high-end residential area where most of the dwellers are expats (mostly the Westerners) and modern Arabs. I like the place not because of that, but because of its accessible facilities (Private beach, playgrounds, grocery store, gym, pools, and a lot of eateries all in one place). The only constraint is, of course, the budget. Haha. Sorry to reality, we are not that rich! (not yet, one day inshaAllah!). 

But then... I came to realize that, the kind of life I am having right now is actually the best for our family. 

2. A Relax place to raise kids

Yes, this is why. Here, I don't have to worry too much about my kids' safety. I can even let my 6 years old Aaron cross the road and buy stuff from the shop nearby all by himself if I want to, just like the local kids here (which I haven't try yet, and maybe not now, thank you. Hahaha) 

Basically, the environment here is similar to our childhood era (back in the late 80's or early 90's) where we were free to ride bicycle to our friends' houses, walked to the small shops nearby and happily play outdoor games with friends all day long and only went home at Maghrib time.

We have nearby playground with a very basic facility but enough to let the kids enjoy their afternoon. We have small stores across the street where I don't really buy stuff there but is surely handy whenever I suddenly realize that I ran out of eggs, or milk. (but I hate it when the kids especially Saraa crying for ice cream that she can just watch from the window to see whether the shop is already open).

Somewhere in 2015, our neighborhood. Photo taken from the window. A kampung environment, only no wooden houses here. Because, they don't built house using woods.
And the best part is, I loveeeeee to see the local boys with their dishdasha (man's traditional attire/dress/jubah) marching to the mosque in front of our house during every prayer time. They are as small as 5 or 6 to teen ages and they go there by themselves, without having to wait for their father. It is simply a pleasant scene for me. The number will increase during school holidays and Ramadhon. And even ramadhon, we will see cars filling up the side road even during Fajr and noon prayers. I learnt that they can sometimes be really naughty. I saw once or twice they threw medium sized stones to each other as a game, on the way back from Solat. And yes they sometimes can be very harsh and loud!. But I love the fact that here, they teach the boys to go to mosque during prayer times, irregardless! And when Azaan Maghrib, they know to go home. It is just like a kampung life style, isn't it!

Actually, not all residential areas are like this. There are places similar to Damansara, Bangsar, etc, in terms of its convenience and density. I only refer specifically to our neighborhood. But overall, we Malaysians agreed that in general, the safety here is better than in Malaysia.

Oh and I also got the opportunity to learn a little bit about the culture here based on my observation. We experienced 3 times of death events along my stay here and the first one was happened to be our neighbor just next to our house. We also celebrated our Eidulfitri during our first year here so I experienced their Eid culture as well, unfortunately not directly (didn't have the chance to visit any Omani house during Eid. They don't have that culture here except only for families and relatives). Not to mention free ruthob (dates) fresh from the trees from our neighbors during its season which I love it so much! And the Omani kids that are kind to our kids (they would sometimes call our kids Malizi, Malizi upon our kids' arrival to the playground! hahaha)

I guess I would never experience this if I stay in the expats' area. I am thankful to have this opportunity. It is a life lesson and indeed an experience worth to keep. But if my husband ever ask me again whether I want to move to The Wave or Madinat Qaboos and the likes, I would definitely say Yes! Hahaha. Well, at least I can learn something new over there right?!
Overall, I am just thankful and grateful. Our house is still easily accessible to a lot of places: 3-5 mins to Muscat City Center Mall and hospital, 5-10 mins to Vegetables and Fruits Market that sells our favorite coconut juice, 10 mins to The Wave for eateries, 10 mins to beach, 15-20 mins to Wadi Al-Khoud (ala-ala river), nearby to the best mishqaq stall (traditional zanzibari skewers), 5 mins to Sahwa Park- a big public park with a lot of flowers and playgrounds and most importantly, only a few steps away to the mosque - rajin tak rajin je orang lelaki dalam rumah ni nak pergi! hihihi.

So well, this is the snippet of our life as an expat here. InshaAllah  in the next entries, I will share my insight about the Omanis and the Malaysians living here
On the way to our house. Big/main road to our residential area. Quiet kan? But during weekdays busy juga during peak hours

End of winter and beginning of summer, April 2016

Sunday, April 17, 2016

A Little conversation about almost everything!

Dear Aaron,
The urge of keeping this as part of your childhood memory is compelling and I think this is quite good since we don't really have close conversation between just the two of us since the day you arrived from your Spring holiday in Malaysia (alone).

I always believe that 'talking' is part of your strength. After all, your name is chosen after the name of Prophet Haroon, the one that was known for his oratory skill! (^______^)

I love to have conversations with you because I love the way you ask questions and trying to understand the whole topic. I don't mind scratching head to answer your tricky-yet-honest questions because I know you will eventually get the point and I always satisfy with the way you comprehend to my explanation. Alhamdulillah.

Like tonight. you couldn't sleep despite the tiring 3-days and nights full of activities. Hence, our bedtime routine became a little too long as we went into (seems to me like) a very serious, never ending conversation.

Aaron: Ummi, I can't sleep coz I am afraid.
Ummi: Remember, we should not be afraid except only to Allah
Aaron: Yes, Allah and Shaitan
Ummi: You should not be afraid of shaitan. Shaitan is just one of Allah's creation like you, me, Hawwa, trees, ocean, etc. So why do you afraid of shaitan?
Aaron: Because shaitan is strong too
Ummi: No it is not. Allah is the strongest. And you know, you are even stronger than shaitan....
Aaron: (interjected before I finish) I know I know. I can fight shaitan! Erm.... How? I forgot... Oh yes... I have to pray!
Ummi: Yes, and memorize the quran. That's why you have to read quran and memorize the surah. 
Aaron: But why shaitan afraid when I pray? he will go far away right?
Ummi: Because shaitan doesn't like when you pray to Allah and do what Allah asks you to do. Inshaa Allah, if you pray to Allah, Allah will protect you from shaitan.
Aaron: Ummi, Allah creates shaitan?
(Ummi nod)
Aaron: Us too?
(Nodding again)
Aaron: When did Allah create us? When we're born?
Ummi: Actually, Allah created you when you were inside your mother's womb
Aaron: Worm? is it good worm or bad worm?
(I think he got confused he thought I meant worm)
Ummi: It's not worm like the one that eat your teeth when you don't brush your teeth (haha I got him scared by saying cavity is worm to get him brush his teeth when he was smaller. I'll correct that later on)
Ummi: Its W.O.M.B its a sac. You know sac?
(Aaron shook his head)
Ummi: It's like a bag where baby stays there when he's inside his mom's belly
Aaron: I was there too when I was a tiny baby? Why baby stays there first?
Ummi: Because at that time baby was soooo small. he cannot feed himself, cannot move... He needs his mother's help to grow. Only when he's ready to live in the world, then Allah makes him out
Aaron: How does baby go out from the womb?
Ummi: Allah will make a way for it. There will be a tunnel and a hole to let the baby out.
Aaron: It comes out from the butt right? (I think I shouldn't say hole to make thing less complicated haha)
Ummi: Not butt
Aaron: Then? 
I was about to say it but I didn't hahaha.
Ummi: Somewhere close to butt but not butt
Aaron: I can't see it right?
Ummi: Yeah
Aaron: Why?
Ummi: It is not important for you to see it now. 
(But Aaron knew sometimes baby can't come out through the tunnel so the doctor has to cut the mom's belly to let the baby out. Just like his case)
Aaron: Errmmm....But I can't see Allah too? How is Allah looks like?
Ummi: I don't know how is Allah looks like. I can't see Allah too. 
Aaron: But you said we can see Allah after we die and after we alive again right?
Ummi: Yes. You want to see Allah?
Aaron: Yeah yeah!!
Ummi: Then you have to do good and be good. Only good people can see Allah in the heaven
Aaron: But then, where is Allah now?
Ummi: Allah has His own place
Aaron: Is Allah in the outer space?
Ummi: Erm... not really. (I was hesitate to answer this)
Aaron: Oh is Allah outside the earth?
Ummi: Yes. OK the most important thing is, if you want to see Allah, you must be a good boy OK?
Aaron: OK Ummi.
The conversation didn't stop here. There was some discussions about how when you use your brain you'll become clever and vice versa but I think it's going to be too long.

I don't know how on earth a 6 years old boy can bombard questions non-stop. He didn't even pause long from one question to another. Well I guess, because he's a kid hence he is still full of wonder. I bet most of us (moms and dads) have been in this situation right? They want to know everything so instantly as if they are going to sit for an exam!

Oh Allah please bestow us with wisdom and patience in raising our children. Ameen!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Life as an expat in Muscat (part 1)

"I only need 2 weeks in Kyoto to see the beauty in it. But it took me 2 years to do the same to Oman"

That was my testimonial on my second year living in Oman. Perhaps I took too long to adjust. Or maybe I focused so much on domestic issues like (the most obvious) how people here tolerate patience and the F1-excellent-driving skills they have!

Here, getting honked by vehicle behind you right after the traffic light turns green is just like music to your ears. Watching people quarreling about a parking spot is also normal (We have had an experience with a very very rude parking lot steal-er too!). Oh, the most ordinary scene here is that you'll find gigantic-expensive vehicles parked ON the pavement/sidewalk. Also, people here multitask a lot during driving! I wonder whether or not they notice that their expensive cars are equipped with bluetooth app for hands-free!

Well, if I were to compare between Muscat and Kyoto, that is so not an apple to apple comparison. Like, come on! We all know that Japanese are among the most discipline people in this world. You nak compare with the arabs? Hahahaha - evil laugh (I hope no arab ever read this). But if you want to compare between Oman and our beloved country, and Omanis and Malaysians, that one sure can loh!

But to tell you the truth, Oman is actually the nicest country among the GCCs and other Arab countries!

*Looks like someone's in love with this country already! haha*

As a start, there are a lot of things I like about Oman:-

1. Beauty and nature

"Beauty has an address"

This tagline is made to advertise Oman for its tourism...And yes it is true.
You can find beaches everywhere, even in Muscat (the capital of Oman). They are open beaches so do not expect for any toilet or changing rooms. The beach nearby our house is actually a fishermen's area but it is till nice and people still come for activities. They are also some beaches that accommodate recreational purposes such as for picnic, BBQ and gatherings, hence some simple huts were built. 

Recently I went to Surr (outside Muscat). It was about 2 hours driving from home and we were simply entertained by nature along the way! Oh I love the ombre colour of the beach, the coastal, different colour of rock mountains, and even the goats, donkeys and camels that contribute to spectacular nature scenery. 

Other than beach, Oman is famous with its wadis (a valley that is dried at most place but has small amount of water stream). People love to do wadi bashing or camping there. However, during rainy days, wadi can be the most dangerous place for people.

Mountains are also popular as tourist attractions. We have two most popular mountains, which are Jabal Akhdar and Jabal Shams. 

And not a lot of people know Oman has cherry blossoms in Wekan Village. Though you have to do some off-road and walking a few kilometers to reach the destination, it's all worth the effort!

There are other beautiful places to visit in Oman such as Salalah, Nizwa, Wahiba Sand, some villages and whatnot. But one can only appreciate this country and its nature if you are a nature lover. If you love shopping, tall building, etc, than this is not the place for you.

Oh anyway, you will not find sophisticated buildings in Oman, even in Muscat; its capital city. Most of the buildings, especially the government offices, still preserve the Arabic architectural at least to its minimum level.  

And Muscat is a clean city. Truthfully, it is not because of the people here. If not for the municipality, I don't think this place could be this clean. But I salute the government for taking cleanliness as serious issue. 

As-Sahwa Park, Mawaleh South (about 3-5 minutes driving from home)

Sink Hole, Najm Park

Al-Hazm Castle, Rustaq

Jabal Akhdar

Grand Mosque, Muscat

I think I'm getting too long if I continue here. In shaa Allah I'll continue in the next entry :)
Oh my, what a formal essay! When I re-read this, I imagine myself holding a hailer in front of a bunch of old people with cameras and maps in their hands (tourist laaa), and reading this outloud! Urghhh... my writing is getting worse, and so does my language skill!


Saturday, February 20, 2016

Parenting Tips: Lesson from Surah Yusuff by Sheikh Sajid Umar (Part 2)

So this is the continuation of Parenting Tips: Lesson from Surah Yusuff (part 1)

#5. 3rd TIP from Surah Yusuf, 12:5: Teach your kids about tauhid

وَكَذٰلِكَ يَجتَبيكَ رَبُّكَ وَيُعَلِّمُكَ مِن تَأويلِ الأَحاديثِ وَيُتِمُّ نِعمَتَهُ عَلَيكَ وَعَلىٰ آلِ يَعقوبَ كَما أَتَمَّها عَلىٰ أَبَوَيكَ مِن قَبلُ إِبراهيمَ وَإِسحاقَ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ عَليمٌ حَكيمٌ
That is how your Lord will choose you, and teach you the interpretation of dreams,1 and complete His blessing upon you and upon the house of Jacob, just as He completed it earlier for your fathers, Abraham and Isaac. Your Lord is indeed all-knowing, all-wise.’

OK. Do you remember the life story of Prophet Yusuff from the day he received the dream until the day he was being reunited with his father and brothers? 

Do you remember the obstacles that Yusuf (AS) had to endure along his prophet-hood journey? 

Please read the translation of Surah Yusuff so that you will understand how is these 3 ayaahs (12: 4 - 6) relate to the whole surah, and relate to the best fundamental parenting tips we can benefit from, inshaa Allah.

In the meantime (to not make this post look unfinished, hehe) lets review the significance of this ayah.

إِنَّ رَبَّكَ عَليمٌ حَكيمٌ
Your Lord is indeed all-knowing, all-wise.’

This is the ayat about TAUHID, about Allah, the ayat that Prophet Ya'qub taught his son, the ayat that had built faith in Yusuff.

Short and simple word, BIG impact!

Yusuff was a small boy when he was abducted from his father. Now, imagine our small child at the age of 5, 6 or maybe 7. Imagine if someone kidnapped him/her, or bring him/her away from us. Nauzubillah min zalik. Yes, even to imagine, we simply can't!

But this is what had happened to Yusuff (AS)! 
But Yusuf had a proactive father that gave him wisdom even from a young age. Because of that,  by Allah's will, Yusuff survived the tests.

When he was all alone, in a dark, at the place where he thought nobody would know he was there, indeed. Allah knows! He is all-wise!

Then he was brought away from his country, a foreign land to him. He must had been scared, and his father didn't know where he was, how he was, and he was all alone, but no, he wasn't alone, for Allah was with him, and Allah is all-knowing!

When he was tested with an attempt of adultery, where nobody was around but only him and a woman who was willing to surrender everything for him, while he was a young man with desire, he chose to ran away. Indeed, he knew, Allah is all-knowing. Allah is 'Alim, Allah is Hakeem!

And then when he was imprisoned while he was innocent, yet nobody helped him and stood up for him. Did he feel despair and hopeless? Indeed, he knew that Allah knows, Allah is 'Alim, Allah is Hakeem!

This, many audience broke into tears! 
Allah is so close to Yusuf's heart. He has strong faith in Allah.
And who taught him that? His father.
When? when he was just a small kid!
And what about us?
If we think our kids are still small to understand, and we don't make an effort to even try, how can we sure that when our kids are in their teen age; the age full of wonder, desire, and bravery, they are capable of restraining themselves from the tests? How can they have Allah in their heart?!

Yes, for some reasons the western researchers say that young kids should not be burden with too much info, heavy info, etc. (I just read about this a few days ago mashaAllah!). But what this surah teaches us is to not rebuke our kids' intellect. They are born in fitrah, and they can understand knowledge about tauhid. (Of course this is a story about two prophets, one as a father and another one as his son, and of course we can never be at par with them. But that is not the point. We just need to try and re-try. Make effort)

#6. The teaching of kind heart and forgiveness.

During the end of the story, Yusuff was reunited with his brothers and father. At that time, he was a minister in Egypt, his brothers came to him for protection. What did Yusuff do? 

Despite what they did to him around 50 years or so ago, he forgave them!
Yes, Yusuff forgave the men that abducted him and separated him from his beloved father and brother (Bunyamin).

Surah Yusuff, verse number 100. Yusuff (AS) said that Satan induced his brothers. He forgave his brothers, because he knew his brothers were under the influence of satan. He blame the satan.

Remember we talk earlier about effective communication?
Prophet Ya'qub told Yusuff about not telling his brothers about his dream because he afraid his sons will get jealous (under the influence of satan)

Now... even after 50 years, Yusuff (AS) still remember the teachings of his father.

Most of us remember Yusuff as a handsome man. That is what we've been taught since small. But little that we aware that he is not just a good looking man, but also a man with good heart. 

He held no grunge against his brothers, and other people that cause trouble in his life.
{So after this, please don't just tell story about Yusuf, the handsome prophet, was seduced by a woman. Tell the story until finish. There is more to learn about the life of Yusuff (AS)}

#7. Our children are our assets in the hereafter.
This statement is debatable but let just be positive. Sheikh talked about the famous hadeeth about 3 deeds that benefit us even after we die; 1) Our continuous/ongoing sadaqah (donation), 2) knowledge which is beneficial, 3) The prayers from our pious children (HR Muslim).

Guide our children the Islamic way. Teach them manners, and do not be overprotective towards small things (i.e. let our kids know about responsibilities, knowledge, etc). Let them make mistakes through learning while we are around so that we can correct them. If we are too afraid to see them make mistakes through life lessons, how can we correct them when they make mistakes while we are not around anymore?

Prepare our children to be among the pious mankind, and may we have the benefit through the prayers from our pious children when we are gone.

I am so sorry I am not a good narrator. I think  for a better understanding and knowledge, you can watch Sheikh Sjid Umar's lecture on Youtube. I am sure you can benefit more knowledge first handed.

As for me, even after almost a month attending this lecture, my heart throbs when I imagine how Sheikh delivered his speech. Very powerful, and emotional. And I realize, there are a lot for us (my husband and I) to improve.

May Allah give us wisdom to raise our children, and may we have sabr with us all the time :)

Friday, February 19, 2016

Parenting Tips: Lesson from Surah Yusuff, by Sheikh Sajid Umar (part 1)

Please feel tempted at this entry's tittle, because someone is trying to be an ustazah and start giving a lengthy lecture about parenting, please please! (Jerk. Haha). 

OK. For those who have no idea who this Sheikh is, you can read here. Basically, he is one of the Islamic speakers and lecturers in Al Kauthar Institute, an activist in Da'wah. Try to listen to one of his lecture in sha Allah you'll fall in love with the messages.

So a few weeks ago, he came to Oman and Alhamdulillah he was given a slot about Lessons from Surah Yusuf. I promised myself to share what I got with my husband, since he decided to take care of the kids while I was attending the lecture so that I can have full focus on the lecture. Barakallahu feek ya habibi, even I know this is one of your favorite sheikh. I consider that as my 'compulsory time-off' (which in sha Allah I'll write about this next time). And why I end up writing here is because my husband gives me a task to share this in public. I feel guilty to not accept his task considering his effort and sacrifice.... So please bare with this lengthy post and may we all benefit something from this. Ameennnn. 

#1. Sheikh started his lecture with the encouragement of attending 'majlis ilmu' (gathering for the remembrance of Allah). He recited a very powerful hadith from Sahih Muslim  as an eye (and heart) opener to motivate us all to keep busying ourselves attending this sort of gathering (or if not possible at least listen to lectures whenever we can). Note: It is the 36th hadith from the 40 hadeeth of Imam Nawawi - May Allah bless Xifu Nasser for his effort 10 years ago to make us memorize some hadith an easy and fun way!

Here is the hadeeth's translation:
On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

Whoever removes a worldly grief from a believer, Allah will remove from him one of the griefs of the Day of Resurrection. And whoever alleviates the need of a needy person, Allah will alleviate his needs in this world and the Hereafter. Whoever shields [or hides the misdeeds of] a Muslim, Allah will shield him in this world and the Hereafter. And Allah will aid His slave so long as he aids his brother. And whoever follows a path to seek knowledge therein, Allah will make easy for him a path to Paradise. No people gather together in one of the Houses of Allah, reciting the Book of Allah and studying it among themselves, except that sakeenah (tranquility) descends upon them, and mercy envelops them, and the angels surround them, and Allah mentions them amongst those who are with Him. And whoever is slowed down by his actions, will not be hastened forward by his lineage.


#2. Parenting starts before marriage! 
- Seek knowledge as much as we can, even when we are still single. 
- But it is never too late to start good parenting, and in fact, we have to always improve our parenting skills.
** Sheikh suggested us to have a thinking day!
 -i.e. A moment where we muhasabah ourselves so that we can keep ourselves in track, re-think, re-do and re-correct things that we have regretted along the journey. 

#3. 1st TIP from Surah Yusuf, 12: 4 - Intimate relationship between a father and his child 
إِذ قالَ يوسُفُ لِأَبيهِ يا أَبَتِ إِنّي رَأَيتُ أَحَدَ عَشَرَ كَوكَبًا وَالشَّمسَ وَالقَمَرَ رَأَيتُهُم لي ساجِدينَ
When Joseph said to his father, ‘Father! I saw eleven planets,1 and the sun and the moon: I saw them prostrating themselves before me.’

Allah doesn't start this story with 'Once upon a time'. Instead, He starts with this ayah above. A very straight forward story about a boy who always refer to his father whenever he's in dilemma: A boy who trusts his father and prefers his father more than anyone else!

Instead of going to his 11 brothers, or his peers similar his age, Yusuff (AS) went straight to his father after he got a very confusing dream. This shows how intimate this father-child relationship is. 


In this life, we have 2 roles, 
(1) mandatory role - Being a child, parent, mom, dad, etc
(2) elective role - us as a career person (doctor, cook, banker, teacher, etc), voluntary work, etc.

-DO NOT let your elective role overshadowing your mandatory role!
-You are the best teacher to your children.  Sheikh reminded us to NOT pass on our responsibility to others. Don't  just rely on school, society, strangers to be your kids' teacher.  

Children learn from us, parents. So set up good examples for them to follow.
For instance, in this ayah, Yusuf (AS) called his father يا ابت, which means my dearest dad (some technical arabic nahu/grammar with the ت behind the اب that indicates the softest, most honorable tittle). Because, when we read the next ayah, Prophet Ya'qub calls his son with the softest call, يا بنى (my dearest son). 

Respect and trust are earned. We want our children to respect us, we have to first show how respect is. And trough a fond relationship, inshaa Allah trust is earned too. 

#4. 2nd TIP from Surah Yusuf, 12:5 - Effective communication and respect your child's intelligence
قالَ يا بُنَيَّ لا تَقصُص رُؤياكَ عَلىٰ إِخوَتِكَ فَيَكيدوا لَكَ كَيدًا ۖ إِنَّ الشَّيطانَ لِلإِنسانِ عَدُوٌّ مُبينٌ
He said, ‘My son, do not recount your dream to your brothers, lest they should devise schemes against you. Satan is indeed man’s manifest enemy.

Prophet Yusuf (AS) was a small child (less than 7 yrs old according to mufassirin) when he had that dream. But prophet Ya'qub (AS) addressed the matter in a proper way albeit dealing with just a small boy. He kept his son informed with the right information in an effective way, even for the heavy topics e.g. about SATAN. You know why? 

Because Prophet Ya'qub didn't know how much time he had to be with his child. 
So do us. We are unsure of how much time we have with our children, right?! Why not start now. Teach our kids about Allah, tauhid, shaitan, shirk, etc.

We want to wait for the right timing but when is the right timing? Are we sure we have the future to give guidance to our children?

So perhaps, instead of waiting for the right timing, why don't we make the timing right. How? 
by effective communication!

We surely can learn effective communication from this ayah, mashaAllah! 
-to give command --> to explain --> to guide

Lets look into this ayah. First, Prophet Ya'qub commanded his son (do not tell your dream to your brothers). Then, he explained to his son the reason of his command (they will make plan against you). Next, he gave guidance to his son (shaitan is indeed man's manifest enemy). Our common mistake is, we tend to give order (command) but we don't explain, never mind to give guidance. 

HOW EFFECTIVE is his teaching?
Ahhaaa.... please read the 2nd part of this topic.
(I separate into 2 parts so that it doesn't look too long)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Assalamualaikum, a comeback entry?

Assalamu'alaikum wbt.

Last posting was 2 YEARS AGO can you believe it? Haha. (Actually what I couldn't believe is that I AM NOW updating my blog...Tadaaaa!)

Been missing blogging so much but no courage at all (and the truth is LAZY) to blog.
I know the fact that nobody really blog nowadays. C'mon, who has time to nagggggggggg nowadays? Everybody prefers tweeting and FBing. But for a person who always naggggggggg like me (oh so annoying ha that naggggggg thing. Stop it!), I think it is better for me to blog rather than nagging on FB and even instagram! (memang mak nenek insta pon caption bebel! haha)

NO. that is actually not the real issue. That was just a bad intro! The thing is.... urghhhh.... I think I need to blog to actually gratify myself. As much as it sounds so pathetic, I admit that sometimes, I lose myself. I lose my perspective. Been busy with the 3 angels and everything else, been sacrificing my social activities with friends and spending most of the time at home, oh I can be insane sometimes! Don't get me wrong, I am totally happy with my life. I am just stating the fact as a perfectly normal adult, sometimes we need other adults that can understand our language and rambles for our own sake. At least if I blog, I can pretend that I am talking to someone. Wei pathetic. haha. Husband must be smiling reading this, hopefully less nagggggging after this kan Sayang? haha.

And Oh, I forget very easily! Never mind about dates and days because that is so typical of me, but I don't really remember when was Eve's first crawl, or her first word, how much weight she (and the other 2) gains, and things like that. Psttt. I've even forgotten what I got for my last birthday! Maybe, I am just being realistic, that this is just how a normal life should be, that we not need to remember everything! Maybe, those things are important, but don't really matter. Maybe, I am getting old (that is for sure honey). But wouldn't it be sweet if I can just write down anything about them for our future reference? Because as of this moment, when I look back at my old posts, I never stop smiling reading about Aaron. 

OH. Forgot to tell you. Eve Hawwa is our 3rd angel! She is ermmm around 10 months old. wait. Sorry. Almost 11...Wait. She'll be 11 months old this 6 Nov (whenever that is).

And yeah, I also forget how to write. It took me a while to remember how to construct nice sentences. Ah you can see it already. haha. And I keep on asking 'what's the word.... how to say this' a few times.

And I think too much of whether or not I should keep this thing 'alive' again. What should I write about? Would it be too personal? Would it be too open? But then. I stop thinking and just go for it. We see how it goes and it doesn't matter anymore what I want to share. In the end, let just make myself happy (read: syok sendiri). And maybe see you again next couple of years from now. Haha! 

Till then,
May we always in good hands.

Oh. Let me show you our not so latest photo! 


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A dedication to all mothers in the world :)

Maryam Saraa's Aqiqah goodies tags.
"We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents; in pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth" (46:15).

Everyone knows that a mother is the pillar of a family. She's everything to her family. You see, when we say everything, that includes being a mom, a friend, a doctor, a teacher, a chef, a housekeeper... Best description - a runner.

Being one person in many positions? Oh that's terrific! And don't forget to sum up all the wifey job! (^__^)

How many of us moms have to wake up early in the morning and don't even have time to have a nice proper breakfast because we have loads of things to settle in a very stiff hours? -bathe the kids,  prepare breakfast, hubby, prepare to work, send kids to nursery/school... yada yada yada...

How many of us sometimes can't even grab a single glass of drink when kids throw tantrums, fighting, or got hyperventilated/sugar rush etc?

And how many of us, sometimes crying quietly somewhere in the kitchen while preparing something because we are too tired or hurt, or maybe crying out loud alone in the car because we got frustrated with the kids behavior, asking ourselves what have we done wrong? Which parenting part did we relinquish? And then, reminiscing the good old days when the kids were smaller, on how beautiful they were as a small creature, and how we had showered them our undeniable, unquestionable love. Thus, hoping for something impossible like how we wish our growing teenagers to act less complicated just like when they were smaller.

Or maybe crying while having a shower, contemplating ourselves, hoping that one can understand how tired we are, how weak, hopeless kind of mom, and getting frustrated of our inability to stay stronger.

Alas, mothers, you are indeed not alone. If you think your inner voice is unheard, your loved ones aren't really care about how you feel and you sometimes behaving a wee bit emotional, just take a deep breath, take some moment to be alone and keep your head. Coz that's just part and parcel of motherhood. Other moms face the same thing too. Yes, we moms understand each other better. And we know that those sappy feelings are uninvited yet free to come but won't take long to leave.

Being a mother is like taking a full time job that doesn't allow you to resign. It is a restless, exhausting job with loads of responsibilities. Your working hour is from the moment you open your eyes until when you close them back to sleep. That doesn't include working extra hours pass your sleeping time due to fever bugs in the house, or finding solution for some family dilemma or for any other reasons only you know. 

For every difficulty a mother has to endure, every challenge that may seems so hard to tackle and every big responsibility she has to carry, being a mother is one of the most dignified profession in this world and in the hereafter. And it is surprisingly the coolest position you may have experienced. Despite all the unwieldiness, the never ending demand from the loved ones, and the craziness one could turn out to be when she becomes a mother (hehe), there are myriad pleasure you'd grasp throughout your motherhood experiences. And no matter how hard life would be, you'd stand tall and survive. You know why? Because you let yourself Redha with the sacrifices you've made and You lay your love on everything you do. You mothers, are indeed so super special and super strong!  

And if at any moment you feel unappreciated, alone, disgrace, exhausted.... Remember that as long as you Redha and Ikhlas, this is one of the many ways that can grant you Jannah!

It's a free ticket for us moms to enter Jannah!

And just to revitalize our spirit, sort of emboldening our motherhood vibes, lets remind ourself about the greatest reward that every heart's desires; THE JANNAH. 

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet, said, "Allah said, 'I have prepared for My pious worshipers such things as no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard of, and nobody has ever thought of. All that is reserved, besides which, all that you have seen, is nothing." Then he recited:-- 'No soul knows what is kept hidden (in reserve) for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do.' (32.17) (Book #60, Hadith #303 of Sahih Bukhari) 

*Now, imagine the best thing we'd ever want in this world, the best place we've ever been/imagine, the happiest moment you've ever had in your memory..... Jannah offers you so much more and it's beyond comparison.
These two ahli syurga are my syurga dunia.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Aaron Houdd's post 3rd birthday entry

Right after born - 22/2/10
Dear Aaron Houdd,

The time I'm writing this, you are 37 months old - A son, grandson and an abang.

Looking at you now - a handsome, charming little boy, nothing more I could say than Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah. Having you and Saraa is the best gift Allah has ever grant me.

Three years have passed so fast! I still remember your croaky voice right after you were born- the voice that had knocked my motherhood intuition ever since. I remember Doc Safiah (your Paed) greeted you cheerfully with Assalamualaikum. I remember the doctors and nurses in the OT exclaimed "what a fair skin he has! so fair! and cuteeee!". Everyone in the OT shared the excitement of your birth. And I was indeed the happiest person in the entire world!

You were so fragile back then. Everything about you was cute. From your coos, your smiles, cries- to your act - how you chewed your food, scrunched your nose, made your hair messy, just every single thing about you was cute. But now, cuteness alone isn't enough to describe you! many many times, there are something else in between. It's always mixture of cuteness and cheekiness, cuteness and naughtiness and what else? Uh, every other mom will surely understand what I mean :). That new perspective of cuteness can easily drive me nuts! 

You know, when you were smaller, I used to think that my motherhood experience would be less challenging once you reach toddler-hood. You can eat healthy adult food and walk by yourself, you can speak so we could understand you better and know exactly how you feel, and you can even settle your 'business' by yourself. 

Oh, what a silly me for having that thought!

There's always more and more challenges once you are a mother. 

You can walk by yourself. Not just that... most of the time YOU choose the direction. Hence, shopping simple groceries could take hours. 

You can speak, hence, there's always answers and justifications of your act. When you get cranky, you don't speak because speaking isn't powerful enough. You have better idea. You s.c.r.e.a.m! 

You can eat any healthy food but you also know how to refuse food. So you choose to drink milk all day.

Yes you can settle your business by yourself, of course you can. But you chose to end your 60% of successful potty training in a week by peepee everywhere and groaned "I'm so tired I've to go to toilet so many times. I wanna wear diaper again". And A big exclaimed of "Yeayy, I'm wearing diaper again!" like you just won a lottery officially had ended the potty training mission.

I can't lie that sometimes I can't handle this motherhood thingy. There are times I feel like a failure, the biggest loser of the entire motherhood world. Nope. Not because you're a nuisance. You just being a kid and it's perfectly normal. It just me, learning to be a good mother to you. Yeah sometimes it's not easy. But there's no way I can give up on you. Not even in a split second that I lose love upon you despite how hard the situation may be. Indeed, you made me realize that patience is an essence in motherhood, and love makes everything a perfect sense... Your pure love keeps me sane and alive.

Dear Aaron Houdd,
You may outgrow my lap, but you'd never outgrow my heart. (a modified unknown quote. hehe)

And I pray to Allah to always guide you and grant you His mercy.

Around 20 months old!
Few months before he turns 3!

Monday, January 7, 2013



My first entry in this new year. Hmmm let see... No story about my last year's achievements, no post about this year azam. Nope.

I always have the angan angan to change my blog template. Im having this dream since forever already coz I think this template doesnt reflect my blog anymore. and myself too... tapi malas nak buat.
(entah hapa2 tiba2 cakap pasal blog template)

OK OK. now. Dear friends, I am here to announce that I am currently happily counting my days to step my feet into our home in Oman, real soon! Weehooo... sape tak suke wei dapat reunite dengan hubby terchinta! dengar cerita dia kat sana ramai peminat. dari minah arabs yang cun melecun lagi (dengar cerita dari dia seorang aje. haha) 

Soon mean, soon! like approximately a month from now. Yes! 

It has been almost a year we're being apart. and its not fun at all. I dah a few times kena ngorat kat Mall padahal bawak baby and jugak pernah kena approach ngan sales person from CIMB pasal kredit kad and dia tanya encik abg mana ? when I jawab "takde" his expression was like "Oh. Im sorry to hear that" - hmmm... so korang paham2 kan apa maksudnya? bukan maksudnya I masih hawt. (hehe) tapi maksudnya macam I ni 'single mom'. (yes i am a single mom but in different interpretation OK)

Actually ada banyak benda yang I tak settle lagi kat Malaysia ni. Plan memang dah banyakkkkk sangat lari. Sampai I pon dah malas nak planning lagi but just follow my gut. inshaAllah kat mana2 pon challenges tetap ada tapi  I think you would never resist the feeling of comfort when hubby is around. I guess all the LDR friends would agree with this. tak kisah macam mana kuat kita sekalipun, or macam mana dah terbiasa kita sekalipon kita nak handle daily routine, tapi kalau hubby is around, it is extraordinary!

So now I tengah busy settle pasal shipment. I have only like 2 weeks untuk list down n settle everything yang nak bawak ke Oman, kargo tentatively will arrive on 26th Jan. Banyak giler kot nak kemas tapi I tak start apa lagi. Haha.

Pastu nak buat Aqiqah Maryam Saraa and farewell inshaAllah. So ni pon nak kena proper plan sebab tak buat kat rumah, Plan nak buat kat Masjid Negeri kalau place masih available untuk tarikh yg kita plan tu. Since hubby is far away, so I am the lady in charge la untuk 2 major events ni (shipment and kenduri). Oh family kitorang amat ramai. so nak buat kecik2 pon kena bajet untuk ramai. hadoyai...

My thesis writing? Ahhhh... last time target nk pergi Oman dengan hati yg rileks selepas settle semuanya. Tapi dah malas dah nak target. Awal Dec I was so excited for the new change of plan made by my sv, hujung bulan dec pulak down balik sebab so happen berlaku lg 1 berita yg kurang best yg menyebabkan I still cannot lepas dari lingkungan kegelapan masalah I ni. So now, decided to continue anything yg berbaki di sana. I know would be moreee challenging sebab I'd b all by myself utk take care of kids and do all the chores, macamner ntah nk maintain energy utk writing. (I had experienced being a full time mom with heavy beban of thesis back in Dubai so I boleh rasa aura penat nya nanti)

Anything else?
eRM... Aaron Houdd is being Aaron. still the same. banyakkkkk idea dia nak menjawab kalau kita cakap. last time dia boleh cakap Ummi dia macam Pingu kalau marah. Noppp nooppp... aduh.

Maryam Saraa. Now dah 2months lebih. almost three. cepat je masa berlalu. Dia tengah demam ni. I pon tengah sakit kepala and terkehel urat tangan kiri. quite challenging as I am a lefthander. (-__-)

Oh now I am so into Instagram. Haha. ketinggalan zaman kan. terok tol. alah, I started FB pon after my moms and niece and nephew yang bawah umur pon dah ada FB. apa nk heran. but yeah...quite addicted with IG la sekarang. bahaya bahaya...

My style now is I update my IG and share selected photos on FB. Tak bukak FB pon. so nampak mcm I sgt update semua. Haha. untungla banyak masa ye tak...(tertipuuu)

Tp I perasan bila hubby takde ni I kerap jugak la on FB n Ig. sbb semua kan mobile. so tak payah spend masa banyak2. u can just log in and check out any update every now and then. I akan like and komen simple2 kalau ada masa. alah Like bukan amik masa bnyk pon. I realize I banyak dapat update berita terikini thru FB. and dapat byk motivational quotes from FB jugak. so its my feed lah kan. its all about how u strategies everything. Tapi memang akn ada satu2 masa i tak hambik kesah lgsg psl semua. especially bila time memang i tak boleh nk ngelat langsung my duty. (tu menunjukkan I selalu mengelat untuk buka FB dan lain2. apa punya Ummi la, teruk betol.haha). and when hubby is around. Im all his. cececeh.

untunglaaa orang yg ada hubby dekat2. org mcm I ni mengharap ehsan viber and whatssap and any free app je utk berhubung pjg2. tu pon sehari 2 kali. 1 masa hubs bangun pagi before dia goes to work (dapat la dalam 10 min kalau anak tak meragam), 1 lagi malam after dia balik kerja, which kalau dia balik lewat (selalu nya lah) kat Malaysia dah lewat malam sometimes I dah tertido masa tidorkan anak. and I akan terjaga pagi2 buta utk uruskan apa2 time tu dia pulak baru tido and i kesian nk kejut... so kalau dapat cakap ngn hubby dalam 30 min tu dah kira weehooo sangat dah. time dia kerja mmg I tak suka kacau ever since awal kawin lg. Dia tak suka. so korang. sila bersyukur bila hubs around. jangan asyik kerek ngn hubs uolss aje ye (dedikasi utk diri sndr yg suke carik pasal bila hubby balik yang tak selalu balik. nak ngegada la kunun.heee)

Erm... ok la tu je. Wassalam. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dear Ladies: Tips mencari/memilih pasangan

Tak maluuu interprem diri sendiri. kehkeh... (4th Anniversary, Brunei - 2011)
Assalamualaikum wahai wanita2 solehah sekalian!
OK. Hari ni kita taknak cakap pasal parenting or childhood. Apa kata kita share something else pulak. What about topic yang hangat untuk dibincang oleh para single ladies?! Wohhooo… Look who’s talking! A mom of two who’s still trying very hard to juggle life suddenly wants to talk about pre-marriage life? (Clap your hands girls. She’s musing over her good old days as a single lady.haha)

Hey. Isn’t the best person to advise about marriage matter is the one who IS married? I mean, practically speaking. Yes? No?

OK OK. Don’t bother who’s talking here. Let’s just focus on the topic, which I’m gonna share about TIPS UNTUK MEMILIH PASANGAN, especially for the ladies. Best tak best tak?

Actually I baru lepas dengar diskusi ilmiah di TV Alhijrah tadi, tajuk dia something like wanita di dalam memilih pasangan. Dua panel yang sangat bagus membincangkan isu ini adalah sis Farah Adeeba dan Prof. Dr Sidek Baba. I didn’t follow the discussion from the beginning, caught it in the end of the discussion. But indeed, it was informative enough even when you only manage to listen for just few minutes of the discussion. I loved how Farah Deeba delivered the messages. Hereby, I would like to share some of the tips she’d given:-

1)      Wahai para gadis. Anda yang sepatutnya tentukan siapa yang layak menjadi suami anda! Yes, you should analyze, do research, etc before you decide who’s gonna be your spouse.

Kerana anda yang tentukan lelaki bagaimanakan yang anda perlukan untuk menjadi suami dan ayah kepada anak2 anda. So buatlah kajian dengan bersungguh2 sebelum membuat keputusan. Ye, kena research betul2! Don’t ever believe LOVE AT A FIRST SIGHT.

2)      Pilihlah lelaki yang BERIMAN. Kalau seorang lelaki tu tak menjaga tanggungjawabnya dengan Allah, bagaimana pula dia akan menjaga tanggungjawabnya terhadap isteri dan anak2 nya? Dan ingatlah suami kita lah yang akan lead family kita. Maka pilih lah yang mampu membimbing kita ke syurga.

Begitu juga, tolak tepi lelaki yang banyak mengutuk/memperkecil2 ibu mereka. Sedangkan orang yang melahirkan dia pon dia tidak hormat, inikan pula orang lain.

Sekarang, ramai orang yang memilih pasangan berdasarkan faktor2 selain agama e.g financial stability, paras rupa, megah keturunan (kerabat raja ke, syarifah sheikh ke, etc). bukan tak boleh. Sangat2 penting untuk kita mengambil keseluruhan factor secara holistic bagi memastikan kebahagiaan rumah tangga kelak. Tapi kalau meletakkan agama sebagai factor paling utama, inshaAllah yang lain2 tidak akan menjadi isu besar. Masalah pasti ada. Maka kerana itulah pentingnya memilih orang yang beragama kerana orang yang beriman ini akan mengendalikan masalah dengan cara yang baik, inshaAllah.

3)      Betulkan cara dan niat di dalam approach lelaki tu. Yes, Farah Adeeba menyokong kuat jika WANITA MEMULAKAN LANGKAH PERTAMA. Tiada yang salah. Tetapi biarlah dengan cara yang betul. Contohi Saidatina Khadeejah di dalam urusan ini. Baginda yang mula approach Rasulullah. Tetapi dengan cara yang sopan. Menggunakan orang tengah yang boleh dipercayai. Dan paling penting, saidatina Khadeejah mula approach Rasulullah setelah membuat research yang lama dari pelbagai segi – akhlak nabi, kebijaksanaan nabi, etc.

4)      Tiada sesiapa yang sempurna so DON’T EXPECT FOR PERFECTION. Yang paling penting adalah kita perbaiki lah diri kita dahulu. (I tambah sendiri: Ingat janji Allah, wanita2 penzina untuk lelaki2 penzina, sebaliknya wanita2 solehah untuk lelaki2 soleh). Yang penting carik lah yang SEFIKRAH.

(pendapat peribadi I: I translate fikrah bukan bermaksud semata2 berada di dalam jemaah persatuan yang sama, yg lain tak nak. Itu sangat rigid dan radikal ye adik2. Fikrah ini bermaksud secara keseluruhannya adalah cara berfikir. Adakah kita mempunyai halatuju yang sama. Memandang destinasi kehidupan dengan pandangan yang sama. In my opinion, mungkin tak mengapa kalau kita tak sekufu tapi kalau tak sefikrah memang pening kepala nanti. Sorang fikir no. 6, sorang lagi fikir no.9. nak didik anak pon amat penting kalau hubby and wife in the same page coz seriously I dah nampak depan mata how a couple end up raising their kids haphazardly just because they didn’t have the same target in raising kids)

5)      Bersangkut paut dengan point no.4, kalau boleh biarlah kita berkenalan sebagai kawan dahulu. Sebab dengan berkawan, kita akan menjaga batas pergaulan (tak de nak feeling2 lebih), dan dengan berkawan banyak kelebihan kita boleh dapat i.e a) kita boleh kenal hati budi masing2 dengan telus – tiada kepura-puraan sebab tiada hidden agenda and expectation b) kita boleh menilai sejauh mana kita sepakat di dalam prinsip dan persefahaman. c) melalui persahabatan lah kita berpeluang membuat research yang kritikal di dalam memilih si dia menjadi pasangan kita.

*point no. 5 ni Farah Deeba bagi maybe berdasarkan majority orang yang ingin mencari pasangan menggunakan cara “mengenali hati budi” dahulu. I tak tolak ada yang bernikah tanpa berkawan apatah lagi bercinta. 80% proses adalah melalui orang tengah atau senang cerita UBM kinda stuff. It’s OK. But even if you choose not to fall for each other before marriage, it’s OK to just be friend. Right?

6)      Waktu terbaik untuk mencari pasangan adalah ketika berada di UNIVERSITI. Bukan bermaksud untuk leka dan sibuk mencari cinta. Tapi di situ lah tempat terbaik kerana peluang banyak. According to Farah Deeba, she really recommends students to get INVOLVE in SOCEITY.  Sila join persatuan2 yang ada di university (I tambah, NGO luar). Melalui persatuan kita berpeluang mengenali ramai orang dan macam2 ragam orang. Melalui persatuan lah kita boleh tahu bagaimana karakter seseorang. Contoh, bila kita berada di dalam sesuatu program, kita mengendalikan meeting atau berada di dalam masalah, dari situ kita boleh tahu samada seseorang tu seorang yang mementingkan agama – berprogram meeting bagai sampai langgar waktu solat, tidak menjaga batasan di dalam pergaulan, atau adakah dia seorang yang kritikal di dalam memberi pendapat, atau seorang yang baran. Kita boleh tahu sejauh mana tahap kesabaran seseorang dan bagaimana level humanity seseorang bila kita berada di dalam saat2 kritikal. Perkara2 macam ni boleh Nampak kalau kita join organisasi dan aktiviti2 kampus (atau luar kampus)

Girls, I strongly agree with this. Please involve in society. Main reason of course NOT to carik pasangan but hey, siapa nak marah kalau you bijak berstrategi, this is what we call kill 2 birds with a stone. Heheh… actually I bukan nak emphasize merely on the advantage of joining society in searching for soul-mate. Please bear in mind that in university, you should not only learn what is in your syllabus. Itu sangat merugikan. You have to get into persatuan sebab from that, trust me you’ll learn much more than just what’s stated in the certificate. Sangat banyak! Paling penting you can spark your social skill, cara berfikir dan how you tackle difficulties. You’ll earn priceless experience too. Tak bertemu jodoh di persatuan pun tak apa, yang penting personality you sudah digilap. I comprehend we build up personality and life principle mostly during study, especially in university.


Those are the points yang I sempat grab. For me ianya adalah satu tips dan nasihat yang bukan setakat terbaik, tetapi juga praktikal dan realistic. Adalah normal kalau kadang2 mata kita tertangkap dengan wajah2 yang tampan, atau some maybe cepat tertarik dengan those who own big car, good profession etc etc. Tapi biarlah kita beringat yang jaminan kebahagiaan dunia dan akhirat semestinya adalah agama.

Points carik di university tu sesuai untuk yang masih di university lah. Yang dah keluar university janganlah bersedih. University bukan tempat untuk mencari jodoh. Ia adalah tempat menuntuk ilmu. So yang penting kita keluar university kita perolehi ILMU. Peroleh jodoh adalah satu bonus. But I think kalau you join aktiviti berpersatuan, inshaAllah, there’s still light in finding soul-mate J

Whatever it is, always ISTIKHARAH. Jodoh ni akan datang dari mana2 sahaja. Mungkin permulaannya di dalam bas, mungkin di tepi jalan, dan setiap jodoh punyai kisah yang tersendiri. Tak semestinya you find your Mr.Right in uni or program or work. Asalkan kita always prepare ourselves for marriage (never stop learning is what I perceive it), and go for it (go go girl, that’s ur right!), inshaAllah kita akan bertemu jodoh kita suatu hari nanti.

As for me, listening to this beautiful sister has made me smile and miss my hubby even more. Teringat detik2 perkenalan dulu… (OK. Tak baca part ni pon takpe. Sebab ni dah bab syok sendiri occay)

Well, the first time I kenal my hubby masa kitorang join satu program. I still remember: annual meeting PMIUM yg ke 45. Masatu we both were in our 2nd year. He was our ketua unit and I happened to be his timbalan. We had our ups and downs as a team and seriously girls, he was amazing as a leader! I cakap bukan sebab he’s now my hubby or bukan sebab I dah jatuh chenta dengan dia ketika itu. We fell for each other much later then. I still remember the first time he called (work matter) masa tu I was on my way to class. I didn’t pick up the phone. I called back (ketaq jugak wei nak call) pastu dia cakap takpe nanti dia call back later. I ingat oh salah kot I perempuan call dia lelaki. Dia kan budak AKEDEMI ISLAM. Rupanya dia call back sebab dia takut I banyak pakai kredit sedangkan dia yg ada urusan nk cakap dengan I (university maa, takde duit banyak. hehe)

Lepas tu I join friendly comparative religion. Masa I register tak sangka dia ada kat registration desk. Dia senior kat situ (dia dah join this NGO a year before I). lepas tu kitorang join banyak sangat program under that NGO and ada jugak join other NGOs antaranya Khalifah Institute. I berpeluang bekerja dengan dia banyak kali.

I pernah dengar ramai gadis2 sepersatuan cerita pasal my hubby. He’s not ‘officially hard core’ PMIUM. Tapi I can say he’s a strong supporter. Banyak program persatuan yang I join of course dia tak join tapi kereta dia selalu ada. Entah minah or mamat mana2 lah yang pinjam kereta dia untuk kerja2 persatuan. Hatta pergi muktamar pon kereta dia ada walhal dia memang of course tak join. Hehe… Oh, back to the girls… Dia ni boleh dikatakan famous masa kt uni dulu. And there were few girls yang pernah cakap that this guy is a gentleman. Kalau dalam program kalau bab angkat2 kerusi meja etc, kalau dia yg lead, dia memang tak bagi kaum hawa buat. Kalau nak buat apa2 meeting ke apa, dia sangat respect kaum Hawa. Pendapat sama diraikan tak kira gender. Paling I selalu dengar, dia tak pernah marah2 or kerek2 even though dalam situasi genting time program (contoh ada masalah kritikal).

Still, my hubby and I were friends for a few years after our first met. Memang sekadar kawan. Tak dinafikan kami rapat. We started to share things (opinions, suggestions, problems – on my side only.hehe) bila dah makin lama kenal. So makin lah dia tahu macam mana karakter I. sebab I memang seorang yang honest di dalam menonjolkan diri. You’ll know there are times I’ll be so cheeky, crazy, serious, and serabut-kelam-kabut if you are my friend. Tak kisahlah lelaki kah anda, perempuan kah anda. Cume dengan lelaki selalu I akan berlagak sikit la. Itu standard la kan. Hehe…
Bottom line… KAWAN. (friendzone la konon. Haha)

Only there was one day where we started texted each other about feeling, and tak lama, dalam minggu yg sama jugak he approached me. Yes, just like that. No fancy moves or words. Direct to the matter. Hahaha…

Some of you might think “kan bagus kalau aku ni ramai peminat” “kenapa dia senang je lelaki suka kenapa aku tak?” “kan bagus kalau aku cantik sikit, tinggi sikit, kurus sikit etc so that orang lelaki pandang aku” etc etc. Tell you what. Jodoh bukan ditentukan oleh berapa ramai orang approach kita and berapa ramai peminat kita. Berapa ramai artis cantik yg ada beribu fans tapi masih belum berumah tangga. Tak payah fikir artis lah. Tengok kawan2 kita yang bercinta sampai clash a few times, masih belom bernikah. Ada pulak yang sekali je bercinta terus ke jinjang pelamin.

Dan ketahuilah, setiap orang punya ujian yang berbeza2. Di dalam soal mencari jodoh, ini juga adalah termasuk di dalam kerangka ujian Allah. Mungkin ada gadis yang terdetik sedikit (kalau tak banyak pon) rasa cemburu atau at least sedih bila mengenangkan kawan yang ramai peminat tapi dia takde peminat. Tapi tahukah anda, orang yang ramai peminat, sometimes mereka rasa susah dan rimas. Bukan kerana tidak bersyukur. Tapi hakikatnya bukan senang nak handle situasi kalau kita ramai peminat.

Pengakuan jujur yang I jarang2 buat (honestly I’m not proud of this): I think this was one of the ujian yang Allah turunkan dekat I. I don’t know why, tapi dari I sekolah, I adalah di dalam category ramai peminat. Seriously sampai there was a time masa tu I second year UM, boleh dikatakan dalam 1 sem tu, I kena handle orang approach I sampai pernah dalam seminggu 2 orang yg berbeza. I sampai muhasabah diri what did I do, did I put on make-up too much (girls, masa kat Uni I never wear make-up except powder and Nivea Lipbalm. Oh ada times I wore celak sikittt je masa kt U tapi last only like a week? Hehe) did I wear sexy clothes yang buat guys terbeliak mata nak jadikan dorang aweks? Hmmm… never! In fact yg approach tu kebanyakannya memang yg berjanggut n berkopiah. Huhu. I did muhasabah on how I treat guys. Takut kalau I menggedik. But tell you, orang yang approach I tu sometimes I sendiri tak kenal sangat. Tak pernah cakap pon dengan dia. Maybe 1 persatuan tapi dalam persatuan tu kan ramai orang. Kalau kawan, I memang baik dengan semua orang tak kisah lelaki ke perempuan but my best male friend WAS only one (my hubby pon tahu). Yang lain2, I tak tau la kalau dorang salah anggap. I pon bukannya jenis ustazah2 yang tak layan lelaki langsung. I did talk to them, and kalau memang kawan, I treat orang tu macam kawan lah. But never too much.

And orang yang approach ni ada yang guna orang tengah, ada yang cakap through sms, Friendster (zaman2 tu la. Ahaks) or berdepan2. And dorang bukan nak jadikan I awek tapi bakal isteri OK. So just imagine, I nak study, dengan tanggungjawab persatuan, etc…nak kena handle jugak masalah hati macam ni. Bukan kita boleh senang2 say NO. Oh, I still remember sometimes memang I terpaksa cakap NO right away in fact pernah ada sorang kakak ni tegur cara I sebab tak kenal hati budi terus nak tolak. Anyway, apapun kena juga jaga air muka orang tu, kena tolak dengan cara yang baik so that kita tak mengaibkan dia etc. it’s not easy. I remember I cried many times because of this.

I pernah hilang kawan baik because of jealousy, and one of the reason sebab dia rasa threaten dengan I. Pernah another friend of mine (masa sek menengah) cakap kalau jalan dengan I selalu orang tegur, even the kakaks tapi kalau dia jalan sorang tak de berhenti tengah jalan2 sebab nobody nak tegur. And I sensed uneasiness in her tone. Sedih wei macam tu. Pernah ada senior girl ‘kirim salam maut’ dekat I, bila tanya kenapa, rupanya sebab kantoi boyfriend dia minat kat I. I was like, “macam lah aku kenal siapa bf ko pon!” semua because of soal hati dan perasaan, soal cinta kepada kaum berlainan jenis….that’s why I said, ini jugak ujian. Don’t ever minta nak ramai peminat so that you have more options di kalangan para peminat you tu. Mintak lah supaya Allah datangkan the right one for you in an easy way.

My point is, yes, from my experience, I can say that Farah Deeba got her points. She didn’t just blab because Alhamdulillah, my jodoh with my hubby started through friendship. And we knew each other’s character via a lot of activities we did together. I not only got to know his character as a person, but Alhamdulillah, I managed to know his philosophy before I chose him as my soul-mate.  I knew how he perceive things, how he tackles setbacks and nuisance. I also knew that he’s a cynical weirdo when it comes to nak menyedarkan orang2 ‘agamawan’ yang berfkiran sempit. Hihi.

That’s my story. I’ve found my soul-mate despite the hidden stories that lie alongside the main one. Hope you’ll find your own story one day. inshaAllah. 


Peace Be Upon You (",)

Peace Be Upon You (",)

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