beauty as I see it

I remembered how the guys at work debated on one of the female celebrity. Chance was, her father was our patient. I thought,  she was one hot looking girl. Yet the guys are hard to please I must say. Such high standards!

Once I overheard on the radio  of a hijab awareness programme taking place in the near future. They mentioned on the focus of what donning hijab really entails. I must congratulate their efforts as I do feel when I was a lot younger, I used to be what I painfully admit, a follower. I took on the hijab at the age of 13 because it was made compulsory at school, only to realize that Mummy dearest won’t tolerate the on-and-off hijab policy. (what did I tell ya about being a follower?) So sulking back then, I did. Kept it on. And alhamdulillah, til now.

Despite having donned the hijab for more than 17 years now, I must admit I have only began to understand the beauty of it. I mean, I did for the sake of Allah.. in hope I am pleasing him by fulfilling what He asks of me. The perspective changed a couple of years back when I sat in a sister’s circle in UK. Sister Anees brought up the concept of haya (shyness) *the thought of the word and pronouncing the word actually sent shivers down my spine*. And I have fallen for it since. Nonetheless, not so close in achieving it myself. Sigh.

Prophet Sallallahu alaihiwasallam said: “Haya comes from Eman; Eman leads to Paradise. Obscenity comes from antipathy; and antipathy leads to the fire.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

A Muslim woman feels shy to do anything that would displease her Lord in any aspect. She has haya in her talk, she has haya in her gaze, she has haya in her clothing, she has haya in her walk. And I dont mean women being timid, introvert and easily trampled upon. Nor thus wearing only soft pastel colours.

Having haya in our speech in my opinion is to speak honorably. To address issues and people with politeness and tact. Surely a hijabi seen shouting with anger is not really pleasing to the eyes. We are meant to cover up – innerself and outerself.

Her haya in her gaze is that she does not look at what Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has prohibited for her to look. Not those bewildered eyes. Not those “looking for attention” gazes.

Her haya in her clothing is that she does not reveal to others what Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has forbidden for her to reveal. And it is meant to shy away others’ attention to us. Hence I find it difficult to agree with hijab styling that is OTT and heavily decked with accessories. When will our society focus on “less is (definitely) more”?

Her haya in her walk is that she walks modestly without attracting others attention towards herself.

..And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allâh to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful. (Surah An-Nur: 31)

Sister Anees’s words that kept echoing in my ears: be that of a muslimah who is a mystery – none of which others see, smell or hear. Be that pearl; kept hidden yet highly treasured.

I was given a copy of the Hijabista magazine last time. I threw it away after page 3. I was nauseated. And I felt a pain within my chest – I really pray our society find beauty through what was prescribed onto us. Modesty.

A woman who has the knowledge of Allah’s commandment to preserve her modesty, submitting herself to the will of her creator, even after having the desire to be praised for her beauty, is without doubt beloved to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and as well as to all good believing men. ( taken from islamic thinking)

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6 weeks ago exactly


That my mum told me, we are marrying my sister off. I nearly lost control of the mug I was holding at that point. A wedding. In six weeks. *image of being hanged flickered in front of my eyes*

Two days following that conversation she told me that I should get engaged the same date. I hyperventilated that moment onwards. I think when A knew about the plan our parents had, merely 2-3 days after he proposed.. he would have had beads of sweat fears on his forehead.

Fast forward 6 weeks – with our trip to the UK, with fasting month, then raya – I have never felt more like a headless chicken. All over the place was an understatement.

Fast forward 6 weeks – we hosted a beautiful affair(s). I cant be more grateful for our own Jenanian Aina and MatRed. Personally I love Aina’s taste and touches. It was what I expected and more. We also had thumbs up from the guests regarding the food. Lamb and dendeng was my personal favourites!

Fast forward 6 weeks – my sister is now a Mrs. As bias as I can be, I thought she looked demurely beautiful that day. And to see her beaming with happiness, I cant be more thankful to Ar Rahman and Ar Rahim.

Fast forward 6 weeks – I have a ring on my finger that reminds me we are halfway. Insya Allah.. may He ease our journey and may He unite us in His endless Rahmah.

My ultimate favourite shot from Aunty Fye:

P1020480

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Their happy is too loud

It has been a while. If Aina didn’t nudge me, this may go on forever. This ‘drowning’ and absence from the surface. I cant really put a finger to it. The GHKL rotation ended in May and boy I was ready to move on. Perhaps I was a lil over eager to move on.. I was literally counting down the days since March.

There were loads I wanted to pen down – of the silver linings of GHKL, of awesome mentors, of my thoughts on hijabis etc. Yet I found myself staring at this blank page. Do you get the feeling when words are mere words? Lack in inspiration, lack in soul and lack in youth.

There were times a many I experienced heights of euphoria and hope – my kick start to part II masters, my encounter with THE Prof M, volunteering at Being Me, our trio trip around British land, my baby sister graduating etc. But it bothered me. That sometimes our joy may not reach others. That some may winced at my fortunate moments. That I may be insensitively “bragged”.

Just as it was portrayed in the We Bought A Zoo – amidst the family’s mourning over the loss of their mum/wife, it ached to see the joy that enveloped others. Their happy is too loud..

Don’t get me wrong.. I am a firm believer of sharing. I believe inspirations should be passed on, beauty should be appreciated, tragedy should be learnt from, ties should be strengthened. Thus we should share. In moderation. I think it is an art – to infect others with your happiness and to prevent despair those in anguish with your state of elation.

I have wrote multiple times, I am a better abd when I’m in need. I have been, for a while, trying to be as good if not better, an abd when I’m in times of ease.

“Remember Allah during times of ease and He will remember you during times of difficulty” (Tirmidhi)

So life has been kind. Life has been kind all along.

I am happily back at a place I am not pulled in 12 directions. I am walking instead of running. I remembered that I actually breathed. I dont clock in and out at 7 am and 7 pm. Alhamdulillah.

My baby sister is back, finally a dentist. We are now 3 again – mum, me and adik. My aunties and uncles on the other continents of the world are also back for Ramadan. Subhanallah. It’s been a wonderful blessed month.

I’m still fine tuning – so that my happy.. will be the right volume.

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Effective anti-ageing therapy

I can easily throw away all those slabs of cream I have been applying all these while (err not my SKII essence hehe) in trade of a short vacation!

Being away from home and work once in a while is truly refreshing. I’m only on day2-3 of my holiday but I swear my skin is looking more vibrant than ever. Over the last few months I have seen it crack, feel my inner self crack and bursted more than once. I am thinking a lot over the last few days, what is the point? Of living on such a high level energy of stress. What is the point?

The struggle to feel at ease at any point, the struggle to find peace regardless of what befalls you have been endless on my side. Jannatul ajilah – syurga yang disegerakan, the syurga on earth: thats where I want to be. But keep failing due to my worrying self, my idealistic self.

So what makes this vacation the therapy I solely need?

Waking up to your loved ones; knowing these are the people who will always love you regardless you score or you screw up.

Waking up to a bright day; without the anticipation of stress from traffic, anxious and difficult patients, co-workers, superiors etc.

Waking up to your own pace; be it at working out or at catching up on reading or even a leisurely day out.

I know this is not forever. Yet this is a respite. And I’m grateful for the opportunity. May, as one said, this holiday be a bermanfaat one. 🙂

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when love fades

Between these 4 corners of the page of my humble writings, I am admitting how I am pretty much struggling to stay in love with work. It has always nourished me, it has always kept me going when other things fail. I thrived on looking after my patients. Yet lately I am feeling more drained physically, mentally and emotionally. It is one of those “I had enough” and “Don’t care anymore” moments. My skin is a true testimony of how drained I am – it is flaky and dry, lacking lustre. And to shine from inside: you need enough contentment and love to shoot through. I don’t have that, at the moment.

I managed to attend Yasmin’s Reclaim Your Heart event on Monday night. And as always, I am thankful that He had given me a chance to reflect, a chance to recharge and a chance to redirect. Through the narration of the stories of the prophets, she peeled away the lessons beneath each layers. And they all come back to one major lesson: the lesson of tawheed. The Oneness of Allah. That each event, each person, each gain and each lost are meant to bring you back. To the Creator. If we take them in and learn from them. Rather than them being mere stories.

And I am trying to assimilate these pearls into my current situation. My work, the people I work with, the people I tend to, the joy of achieving something, the defeat in losing a patient.. They are all ‘tools’ to bring me back to Allah. It is a reminder that I am imperfect, the people around me are void of perfection and the situations are with flaws. I can’t heal, only He is the Asy Syafi. I cant make everyone love me, but to know I am always loved by Al Wadud. I make mistakes and people can judge me on the mistakes but what matters most is in the eyes of Al Ghafur. We give and give and give, but often no one appreciates our giving. Fret not, as He is Asy Syakur.

Nothing is permanent in this life. Just like love fades, love will come again. Just like the day ends, the day begins with the rising sun again. Just like people enter your life, they will leave one day.

So insya Allah this state will also depart soon.

(one of the blessing of being unwell, in between the doses of antiemetics and paracetamol.. I write for my sanity)

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a wonderful affair

Had been a beautiful 2-day event for my dearest Anne. You know when you shed tears at a wedding? It was out of my joy and relief for her. We have been through thick and thin. My dearest had always put everyone else before her. It is time for everyone to make her big day the most breathtaking affair.

Cheeky Anne had requested that I gave a speech at her reception. Fellow Bantingites thought I was the old Peah loving the limelight and spot. Mannn, they were so wrong. And mannnnn.. it is hard to give a speech. Really.

 I tried to speak from the bottom of my heart. I hope she loved it.

I am truly honored to be given the chance to say a word or two on behalf of Arianne’s friends. I have known Arianne close to 13 years and between the two of us, many would agree, that she is definitely better at doing this. Perfect with words. Always knowing the right thing to say. Always good at making people feel treasured.

Arianne and I go back to the very first day of KMB. We were assigned roommates. And boy, it was a tiny room! So tiny! Imagine not getting along? There was very little space to run away from one another haha. It’s not just fortunate that we could tolerate one another, but in her, I found a sister and a best friend  that I could not imagine living without.

My memory of when I first met Arianne was by the door of our room in Banting, where she smiled a huge helo and gave me a tight hug. I was then, the stranger she barely knew. And that is how lovely Arianne is.. in her attitude towards life and towards people. No judgment. No preconceived ideas. Always bersangka baik in people. Always bersangka baik in Allah. Always bersangka baik in Allah’s plans. With that great quality in her, I am super confident that she will shine in this new chapter of her life. Just as always.

To Rahmat,

I may have little clue on what makes a good marriage but trust me that in your wife, Anne you will find

–       the most loyal supporter

–       the person who will go the extra mile for her family and her loved one

–       the most selfless person on earth

–       the best listener

–       the most honest critique

–       the most encouraging companion in times of ease and times of hardship

–       the wisest consult

and if I may add.. An excellent shoppaholic haha.I think with all that, you have the best life partner one can ask for.My hope is that you cherish her, respect her and make her happy.

To my sweetest Arianne,

Whenever I think of you, I am reminded of a strong, independent and determined young lady. When it comes to being compassionate and caring for others, you definitely put all of us to shame. You are always looking out for your family and looking after your friends. Now, relax a little.. let Rahmat take care of you. Step back a little and allow let Rahmat lead your way. Let him be the support for which you can lean on.

May you will be the coolness of each others’ eyes.

May you be helpers and protectors of one another.

May you be a comfort to one another.

May Allah bless your marriage and make it a means of achieving nearness to Him in love and devotion.

May Allah kurniakan both of you children who will be the source of your joy and happiness.

And my doa is that you will be gazing into each others eyes lovingly, not just here in the Dunya, but also in the Akhirah and Jannah.

Congratulations again my dearest.

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A lesson learnt, a painful one indeed.

We barely made it to the second week of the new rotation. As queen of control freak, yours truly ehem ehem, ofcourse were seen agitated and running like a headless chicken 24/7.

New ward-based task, new boss, new style: initial headache. The inability to let go of old comfort, holding on to formed bond and rapport: more headache.

When I first set foot in GH, i sensed how the pace was much more rapid than what I was used to. Now with the new environment, I am still playing catch-up.

Juggling between ward work, clinic and planning, I have yet perfected the art. Among the things I am failing miserably is too spend enough time talking to my patients and their relatives.. Updating what are our concerns, what are we addressing, how our patients are progressing.

Two Thursdays ago was my worst moment. Too much were piling up, admissions were rushing one after another and emergency cases kept me up and down the four storeys of our department.

An old man approached me, wanting to be explained of the nature of his wife’s problem. I gave him 10 minutes, He had more to ask, yet I needed to attend another case pronto. I almost snapped, and told him I will get back to him later. An hour passed and I came back, but one new patient had to be seen on the ward. So I shook my head to him, indicating I’m busy. He sat down again. And it went on for two days.

His eager face came to my mind as I was driving home. And guilt crept in. He wanted to know. And I pushed him aside. Sigh.

So this week I tried to make up to him. It must be done. Time, I just need to find. I felt a lil better.

Yesterday they went home. I bumped into the old guy as he was leaving the ward. I gave my salam and bid them goodbye. But the pakcik had more to say.

“Terima kasih doktor, sabar melayan pakcik dan makcik. Kami orang susah nak, belajar tak tinggi. Nak faham tentang penyakit/ubat susah. Pakcik ni tak pandai langsung. Tapi pakcik cuba nak, boleh pakcik jaga makcik dekat rumah. ”

( thank you doctor, for being so patient with us. We are not wealthy people, we did not get to go to school. To understand diseas/ treatment is hard for us. But I try my best, so I can look after my wife at home)

So what did the arrogant busy doctor do? Looked down and wept silently. Bravo.

And God gave us akal/intellect and what did we do with it? How did we thank our Lord for the brain he gave us? How did we benefit the humanity with it?

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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