Prayers and Pillars

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

"Solat itu tiang agama."
(Salaat [prayers] is the pillar of Deen)

..such a simple statement, for something so deep..


I was at the Dublin Games on Saturday, which was held in UCD. And since we'd be having a 3-day weekend this time around, i decided to join my friends volunteering as the First-Aiders. :) There wasn't really much that we needed to do, other than sitting around watching the games and occasionally passing the muscle-spray for anyone who wants them. Both me and Ika were indoors most of the time, so luckily the indoor games didn't lead to much traumatic injuries like the ones in the futsal court (someone actually dislocated his shoulder.ganas kaum Adam nih).

Anyhow, as hours passed by, it was Zuhr time. And since the weather was not the best that day with the freezing rain and wind, it wasn't really the best option to walk the drenching 10-minutes-path to the surau. So i decided to perform my prayers in the gym. Ika suggested a spot that everybody used to pray in the gym, which was a corridor overseeing the whole court. It was bit awkward to be doing so as it was an open space, but i got over the feeling and performed my salaat anyway, before we continued watching the games afterwards. And that's when I noticed that all those other kids who were finished with their games were actually swarming the corridors afterwards. sometimes on their own, sometimes a bunch of them together, performing the Zuhr prayer. 

I don't know why, but i felt a sense of pride watching this. seeing that many of us are dutifully doing what an abid (hamba/slave) should be doing. I guess it's been a while that I've been around these many muslim students at one time, where everybody would all be looking for random places to pray. But to see so many of us performing salaat at an open space like that, definitely proves that prayers can be performed anytime and anywhere. There's no reason for us not to. And this is definitely one of those special experiences that I had over the years of studying abroad. :)"

But sadly enough, 
there are still those who just don't.


As we grew up, we are blessed with more experiences and exposures to help us think a little bit deeper, in anything that we do. And the same should go with prayers. Perhaps we started off performing them when we were little out of orders from parents. Then perhaps it was because it will be embarrassing to not do it cause all our friends are doing it. And then it sort of became a ritual for us to do it. And after a while we'd feel incomplete without it, and as the years passed, hopefully we are all aiming to make the best out of our daily prayers, insyaAllah: to understand more, to perform it better, and aiming to make these prayers as a shield to our own sins.

But in reality, what's happening is the complete opposite. The more we age, the less time we spend to perform them, because excuses are piling up with our so called 'obligations' to life: our studies, our work, our families, our friends. And what's worse, we actually found other things as more important than our prayers that we even left them all out, putting prayers as just something that we'd do when we have time. And the worst part of it all, is that the majority of us who intentionally skip prayers are those who have been given an abundance of nikmat (blessings) by Allah s.w.t.

Allah gave us brains to study abroad, and yet we left the prayers out, just because of those back-to-back classes that we have. Allah gave us so much rezeki with all those projects and profits, and yet we left the prayers out, because of those appointments with them important clients. Allah gave us big titles like Directors and CEOs, and yet we left the prayers out again, just because we have important pressing matters to discuss in those meetings. I guess we all have forgotten a simple fact here;

the One who gave us the brains, the profits, and the titles, 
are actually the One who is always able to take them all back.

And so whenever i see those around me who deliberately skip their prayers, my imaginary-self would be literally choking the person repeatedly asking him/her "why the heck are you not praying???". But the reality is, we all know that in order for someone to intentionally skip their prayers, there must be something so big and broken inside of them, and that's the first thing that we have to help them fix. They have to understand why prayers are an obligation. Because even if we force them to do so in front of us, there's always the higher chances that they would leave those prayers again behind our backs.

It's sad. To see those who cannot appreciate what prayers are; Who couldn't perform this obligatory prayers whole-heartedly; Who hasn't understand how prayers are a testimony of a Muslim, and that leaving them out may jeopardise our iman; who couldn't comprehend the huge losses with every prayers that they missed, and how much drained their hearts and souls will be; Who doesn't know how much these prayers connect us to Allah s.w.t. and how much it act as a shield in this temporary world we are living in.

But them not understanding is not an excuse for us to let them be either. It means we have a job to do. To explain to them what they don't understand, to tell them what they have missed, to remind them of the consequences that comes along with it. It may take a while, but istiqamah is definitely the key, insyaAllah. Thus, let us put our hands together for them, and for ourselves, and make du'a that Allah will show His Mercy and guide us through this path towards Him. To keep our hearts steadfast in this very short journey; 

After all, our whole lives in Dunya is only a few hours worth in the HereAfter isn't it? 
Semoga Allah redha. 

Prophet Muhammad s.a.w said: 
"The first matter that the slave will be brought to account for on the Day of Judgement is the prayer.
If it is sound, then the rest of his deeds will be sound. 
And if it is bad, then the rest of his deeds will be bad."



Ten %

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

linked + edited

"Kadang-kadang, bila baca blog orang tu kita boleh kenal orang tu."
(Sometimes, you can get to know a person when you read their blogs / writings)
- a friend of mine-


"7 billion people, 14 billion faces."
Currently, i found myself reading quotes that more or less carry the same message....

We are now living in a world where there is literally no barriers. Everyone has access to basically anyone. Undeniably there are those who are able to choose to not be a part of this life, no online stuff, just normal daily stuff; there are also those who couldn't be a part of this life as they don't have any internet access with them (lucky them, huh?); i won't dwell into them, it's just us that i wanted to talk about. Us, ones who are finding ourselves stuck in this way of life.

Everyone now has a part of them that others can have a look into: be it facebook, twitter, instagram, and even blogs. Yes, undeniably we have all chosen to expose a part of our lives to others. Maybe not so much to random public eyes, but it's close enough. We can never really control who sees us and who doesn't. And even if all these online accounts have that setup called 'privacy settings'; let us all be truthful, there will always be random people lurking around who we don't even know.

We all practically do the same thing, exposing our lives to others (be it our friends or strangers); albeit the varying extent of the things we exposed. It ranges from just random thoughts, to pictures of your whereabouts, to political stands, to pouring-out-emotions-of-daily-lives. The extent of what we share with others somewhat reflect the way we think, the way we live. So i guess perhaps that's why many fall into the trap of thinking that they actually knew the person that they are reading about online.

But I think we have forgotten, that somehow everybody chooses what they want to expose. those thoughts, those pictures, they are not that random. those awesome quotes, how long did we spend searching for that inspirational words? those pictures, how many unedited ones were rejected before posting those filtered ones? those candid moments, how long did we ask our friends to actually snap our pictures of our uncandid poses? those delicious-looking food, how difficult was it to really take a picture from an exact 90 degree angle just to make it look scrumptiously delicious? 

We laugh at this now, because we all know that this is the reality behind it. And I've said this before and i will say it again; the worst part of it all is we dont just bluntly believe in all these things that we see online, but we'd also be painting our own version of that person that we are seeing. If they posted good islamic stuff, we all paint them to be this person with haloes on their heads and wings behind their backs. If they posted their awesome poses and stylish clothes, we all paint them to be this rich and famous and awesome people who have no problems in their world, and moan about our own lives. If we see people posting bad stuff, we'd easily paint them to be those club-goers, alcohol-drinking, zina-prone people. It's a dangerous habit we have; to make a judgement of one's life with what they posted online.

When we paint them to be 'nice' people, 
we would never give them a chance to make mistakes. 
And when we paint them to be 'bad' people, 
we would never give them a chance that they might change for the better.


So my take on all of these, is something that my dad always say; 
Whatever you put out there, it's only 10% of the real you. 
And Abah is right.

It is only 10% of the real us. To say that we are able to know someone just by looking at their pictures, and occasionally reading their thoughts, are not enough to say that we know them. To get to know someone is when you discover both their beauties and their flaws. But apparently, nobody wants to show any of their flaws in that 10% now do we? Thus, this 10% can be as beautiful as we want it to be, but the reality is always with the 90% that's left. Because that is where we live, where realities are, where the no-makeup faces are, where the fights are, where the lonely days are, where the sweatshirts and messy hair are, where the sinful acts are, as well as where the real tests of our iman takes place; If we are actually doing the things that we are reminding others of. Scary world, huh? ~sigh~

And I am definitely no exception in this. All the posts in my facebook, or the things that i write, are only 10% of who i am. Am i always deep in thoughts 24/7? of course not! But i hope that my 10% is a booster for my 90%, whenever i make mistakes, or lose my patience, or felt hopeless; that i will have a part of me to cheer me on. And that perhaps from this 10% of my life, i'll get prayers from those who benefited from them. and most importanly, i hope that my 10% will be a testimony in the Hereafter that i did try doing something that brings us all closer to Allah. Aamiin wa insyaAllah.

So what's your 10% like?
I pray that you make the best out of yours too insyaAllah.
and i end today's post with the best reminder of all;
that Allah s.w.t knows us 100%, inside and out. :)

وَأَسِرُّوا قَوْلَكُمْ أَوِ اجْهَرُوا بِهِ إِنَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ
أَلَا يَعْلَمُ مَنْ خَلَقَ وَهُوَ اللَّطِيفُ الْخَبِيرُ

Dan rahsiakanlah perkataanmu atau lahirkanlah;  
sesungguhnya Dia Maha Mengetahui segala isi hati.
Apakah Allah Yang menciptakan itu tidak mengetahui (yang kamu lahirkan atau rahsiakan);  dan Dia Maha Halus lagi Maha Mengetahui?



Mind rant 20#: Lovey Dovey Lagi

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ


Now now, with my bestfriend-of-8-years's wedding only days away, and then receiving this invitation card full of love today, and not to mention the daily updates of the wedding from dresses to pelamin to flowers because I'm not able to be there; how can I resist the temptation to write another Love post? You tell me. =.=

I guess it's something unavoidable, at this age too, that when we hear these happy news, we tend to find ourselves back in the mind-state "when will my time comes?". It is annoying, irritating and rather tiring too, having to face the same kind of thoughts that we already know all the answers to. But I guess that's why Allah let us have those feelings, to let us come back to all the answers again, through Him. InsyaAllah.


Love addicts. 
It's what we've all been fed through movies, dramas, songs and books; which is to be one. I remembered back when i was in highschool, i watched this series called Gilmore Girls. So one time, the girl Rory had a boy that she liked. His name was Dean. And then one time when they have been dating for a while, Dean suddenly said "i love you" which got Rory all flustered and she went back home in a huff saying things like she's not prepared yadda yadda. And I remembered thinking, "ouhh, so you can like someone.....but you can't say i love you??"  See how easy the ideas seep into the young heads? Looking back, even now, i don't understand the logic or message behind that scene. Heh.

My point is, this is just one of the millions of ideas of love that were put into our heads. Love is this. Love is that. Love makes you do crazy things. Love is a mental disease. The list goes on. You can get all sorts of definitions online. Look it up yourself, or better yet, don't look it up!

We are too busy confusing ourselves with all the love quotes out there, that we forget the real idea of love is when you are able to love for the sake of Allah. Yes it is a cliche thing to say, but it's one of the hardest thing one can ever do in this short life. To love for the sake of Allah; understanding what it means alone is hard enough, differentiating which love is which is another difficult step, and truly loving someone for the sake of Allah is the most crucial and hardest step of all. And sadly enough, we all fall into another trap of this Dunya, when we thought that loving for the sake of Allah is when we exchange words like ana or akhi or ukhti or the occasional lillahi Taala in our daily text messages to that person we like, perhaps even smiling giddily at our phones. 

But syaitonirrojim a.k.a mr Devil's traps doesn't end here. The test to see if our love is for the sake of Allah goes beyond that. It doesn't stop when we put on the engagement ring, it doesn't stop on the day of our ijab qabul, it doesn't stop when we have 5 grown-up kids, but it goes on till the day we die. Because despite love itself being a gift from Allah, Allah wants this Love to be for Him first, and only then the rest can follow. So the question is, how do we know if we are actually loving someone for the sake of Allah? And I found this best answer from a talk; 

it is when something or someone that we love, is taken away from us. 
That's when we know where our love stand. 
Whether we actually love our Creator, or His creations.

But unfortunately, this is what happens most; we see people ended up so messed up when they are not able to get who they want, or ended up so miserable and not being able to let go when things are not going their way. The breakups, the engagements being called off, the dramas when the mother opposes of your relationship, the fights you have, being upset of one another etc. All those time when they were together they'd say things like "i love him/her, lillahi taala" and the next moment when things don't work out, they became so depressed as if it's the end of the world, and Allah seems to be the last thing in their minds. Astaghfirullah wa naudzubillah.

But of course, we wouldn't truly know the feelings involved for those who are tested with these kinds of emotional turmoils. And saying things out (or rather, typing) is always easier than actually going through it ourselves. But still, I guess this is why we are tested with love, to remind ourselves that we have not been playing our part of the bargain yet. 

We say that we love Allah and we want to enter His Jannah, but Allah knows that we are not quite sincere enough with what we are saying, and thus Allah test us with feelings and emotions, to  humble us down, so much so to the point that we are able to let go of whatever that Allah takes back from us with ease. At that moment, we are no longer loving his Creations, but we are loving the Creator. And perhaps only then, we are worthy enough to be one of Allah's ahlul-Jannah. And isn't that the biggest gift of all?


So there is still a looooong way to go for me. But it doesn't hurt to prepare myself (and all the readers) beforehand with the reminders of all the tests that come with Love; that it's not all lovey-dovey with rose petals falling while we walk into this path.

And to remind us, that what matters most is not who we love or who love us back, 
but if the love is built with Allah, and for Allah s.w.t. 

So to all dearest friends who are about to embark on that new journey, i am sending my prayers to all of you, may Allah guide your Love to Him through and through. InsyaAllah.

And a side note to myself:
*slap in the face*
Please come back to your senses, yan.
Your time is just not here yet.
Huhuhu *nanges bawah bantal*
*kofkof* back to being Macho. :)

kad dari jauh. see how special my name is? (Larleem = Darling)

Ps: Barakallahulakuma to my sweetest friend, Fatin Wahab who will be leaving me all alone in the scary world of single-hood on the 13th of October. I hope the readers can pray for her and future hubby too. May Allah bless their marriage till Jannah insyaAllah. 

وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا

Dan orang orang yang berkata: 
"Ya Tuhan kami, anugerahkanlah kepada kami isteri-isteri kami dan keturunan kami sebagai penyenang hati (kami), 
dan jadikanlah kami imam bagi orang-orang yang bertakwa."

beautiful doa, as always.
Aamiin ya Rabb.



no fancy celebration this year.

a few phone-calls in the morning.
thanking Mama and apologizing to her for the pain of giving birth to me,
and for putting up with her daughter for the next 24 years. i love you.
she dreamt of me the night before by the way. hehe~
next is Abah. who's back to counting days that i'll be home again.
heh. no surprise there. i love you. :)

occasionally reading texts and tags and posts;
beautiful wishes and prayers,
and some cheeky jokes too.
they never fail to make me feel all bubbly inside.

later during the day;
i had a quite lunch-break+little cake with my partners-in-crime,
ika + pika + akem

and then we all head back to our books in the library.
we might just end up doing this for the rest of our final year,
being studious and nerdy in the library at weekends. :)

only a few strides left before we would become Doctors, insyaAllah. 
the thought scares us as much as it excites us.

ya Allah,
ease our path.
ease our path.
ease our path.
in whatever that we do,
and don't let us go astray. 

ps: i have a bucket-load of wishes for my 24th year, truthfully. 
some are very special ones too. *huhuuuu~~*
but i leave it to Him to decide what's best. 
i can only ask and do my best. insyaAllah. 

oh, and i have an exam tomorrow. 
send me some prayers?

may Allah showers us all with His blessings and mercy.
and to make us all His thankful Hamba;
who will never forget His Nikmat,
in times of happiness and sadness.
insyaAllah wa Aamiin~

perhaps my last birthday in Dublin? insyaAllah.
living up to the status: final Med.

and Alhamdulillah for having them 'anak-anak Zainol' every step of the way.
3 musketeers + 1 Zorro taking the pic. :)

thank You, ya Rabb.
Semoga Allah Redha.


Lonesome Rides

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ


I would often see myself as one of those lonely ones. Having being left here with a very small group of people, to walk about Dublin (and anywhere in Ireland), doing Medicine. There's only a few of us left (malaysians, that is) to venture into the clinical years, which usually lead us to random hospitals and places. all requiring us to travel alone; in the dark hours of the morning, making our way through the drenching almost-winter rain, all by ourselves. sobs.

It's kind of sad at times. Believe me, I have never been one to be doing things alone back home, before I came to Dublin. Bus rides around town? Nah, Abah won't even let me. He even made Kakak or Abe fetch me from the airport and drop me off to KMB (hehe. i love you guys for that). So, i grew up with this idea in my head that i am one of those dependent type. But alhamdulillah, the things i have to do now have somewhat changed me. Still dependent in some ways (ie tak cukup kasih sayang hehe) but pretty much awesome with everything else. *kofkof* Well, we all just have to be, don't we? :)

So this brings me back to my lonely bus rides. As of late, i have to travel for more than an hour everyday to go to the recent hospital that i am attached to. If i am unlucky enough and missed my buses, it'll drag on for another half an hour. 

I am one of the girls who you'd always see earphone lines coming out of their hijab, listening to whatever music that i am into, almost always lost in thoughts. But a few weeks back i decided to do things a little differently. Vowing to myself to not have any note of music on for all the rides, and even back home. So the choices left are ayatul Quran and talks.

I had a few converted-to-mp3 talks on my ipod, so i decided to download some more. Ones from a new speaker i am currently fond of (thanks to Abah and Lin for introducing him) - Bilal Assad. Which lead me to this awesome whirlwind of a ride. Cause listening to these talks, they can be funny or heart-moving or very serious at times. So at one time i think i might have looked so freakishly serious with all the creases on the forehead; and at one time i'd be smiling ever so broadly on my own, and another time it would be an "onion-burning-my-eyes" moments. Now these all looked worse when you are actually trying to stifle all the reactions. Covering my mouth while i am grinning, and looking up every so often to keep the tears in. pretty much the description of a 'weirdo in the bus'.

Alhamdulillah, i enjoyed it thoroughly. It's definitely a new experience for me, as i have never done this wholeheartedly before. The talks that I listened to? Well, in truth sometimes they are discussing things that we all already knew of, occasionally there are new things in them too. The things that moved me, are perhaps the things that have moved me before. Listening back to stories of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W, or the importance of Ramadhan, or the debate between Allah and Iblis upon creating Adam A.S; they are not things that we don't already know of. But somehow, they have touched the heart again, perhaps in the same spot, or perhaps even differently. So it goes to show how important it is for us to keep the reminders coming back to us again and again, even if it is for the hundredth time. 

Perhaps we wondered why those kids would always have their weekly seating (bulatan gumbira, usrah, halaqah)? What drives them to attend these boring meetings or talks? But I think we all knew the answer to that already, right? 

it's just because they are the food for our souls.
because for the constant sins that we commit everyday, little ones and big ones, with or without us realizing it; they should all be washed away with constant reminders of Allah, in remembrance of Allah.

Ibn Mas’ud said:
"…The slave continues to lie and a black spot grows in his heart until all his heart becomes black. Then he is written, in Allah's sight, among the liars." 

So in the end I came to a realization that these lonely bus rides have always been a blessing in disguise. It took me a while to make me turn them into one, though (hampeh punya pasal). And there is nothing more I can say other than, Alhamdulillah; all praises go back to Allah. thank You for giving me the chance.

so here's to hoping you'll have your own takes of lonely awesome rides too peeps! 
and just another verse of the day to push us a lil' bit.

أَفَلَمۡ يَسِيرُواْ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ فَتَكُونَ لَهُمۡ قُلُوبٌ۬ يَعۡقِلُونَ بِہَآ أَوۡ ءَاذَانٌ۬ يَسۡمَعُونَ بِہَا‌ۖ فَإِنَّہَا لَا تَعۡمَى ٱلۡأَبۡصَـٰرُ وَلَـٰكِن تَعۡمَى ٱلۡقُلُوبُ ٱلَّتِى فِى ٱلصُّدُورِ

"maka apakah mereka tidak berjalan di muka bumi, lalu mereka mempunyai hati yang dengan itu mereka dapat memahami atau mempunyai telinga yang dengan itu mereka dapat mendengar? Karena sesungguhnya bukanlah mata itu yang buta, tetapi yang buta, ialah hati yang di dalam dada."


Salam Jumaah.
Don't forget to recite Kahfi.

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